Arsenal started negotiations with 22-year-old French striker

The London giants have reportedly upped their offer to sign Celtic centre-forward Odsonne Edouard as they prepare for the potential departure of Alexandre Lacazette before next month’s transfer deadline.

Arsenal have long held an interest in U21 France international and the Spanish manager is known to be an admirer of the striker, who scored 28 goals in all tournaments for Celtic last campaign.

Juventus and Atletico Madrid have both made approaches to sign Alexandre in recent weeks and the Gunners have identified Odsonne as one of their main targets should their No.9 make his way towards the exit door this summer. The London giants made an initial bid of £15m which was turned down by the Scottish club.

Arsenal have since increased their offer to £20m with add-ons up to the value of £2.5m which would be paid in instalments across a four-year period, as has been the case with Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Pepe.

Though Gunners bid has been made verbally, the proposal could be formalised if Alexandre’s departure becomes a real possibility. It’s understood the Frenchman is keen on joining either Bianconeri or Los Rojiblancos and Arsenal have responded by slapping a €40m price tag on the centre-forward.

At his press conference on Friday, Mikel Arteta played down speculation of an imminent move for Alexandre and insisted the striker was still ‘really happy’ to be a Gunners footballer. ‘He is really happy here, he wants to keep improving and contributing to the team,’ Arteta said. ‘I know how good he is, the impact he is having.’