Arsenal is hoping Matteo Guendouzi can help them secure a bargain deal for his old Lorient teammate Alexis Claude-Maurice this summer, according to reports.
Unai Emery is looking to bolster his attacking options during the off-season, with Danny Welbeck leaving the club when his contract expires and players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil up for sale.
However, the Gunners will have to operate under a strict transfer budget, particularly if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, and only have around £40million to spend.
That has led them to consider Claude-Maurice as a cut-price £9m option, and now the Mirror reports that Arsenal wants Guendouzi to help them seal the deal.
The two French youngsters played together while Guendouzi was still at Lorient, with the 20-year-old midfielder quickly earning a place in the first-team squad despite his tender years.
There are a host of clubs interested in Claude-Maurice, such as Monaco, Lille, Frankfurt and Norwich, and Arsenal hope Guendouzi’s prominent role this season can sway his old pal and show there is a pathway to the Gunners’ first team for the striker.
Claude-Maurice scored 14 times in Ligue 2 this season, the sixth highest return in the division.
Arsenal already have a good relationship with Lorient, having previously signed Laurent Koscielny from the side back in 2010.
In addition to a young, backup attacker, Emery wants to bring in a new centre-back – with Shkodran Mustafi likely to leave – new full-backs and a new box-to-box midfielder to replace Aaron Ramsey, who joins Juventus on a free transfer.