Arsenal and Lyon are in talks over a deal that could see the England forward Nikita Parris return to the Women’s Super League and take Vivianne Miedema in the other direction.
Arsenal, who on Wednesday signed the Japan forward Mana Iwabuchi after she left Aston Villa, would be loth to lose Miedema as a free agent next summer and there is interest in her from Lyon. Arsenal would like to buy Parris and will pursue a deal even if a swap cannot be agreed.
Parris left Manchester City for Lyon in June 2019 as the WSL’s record scorer with 49 goals, a tally surpassed this season by Miedema and City’s Ellen White. During five years in Manchester she won the Women’s Super League, two FA Cups and two Continental League Cups.
At Lyon Parris has benefited from the long-term absence of the Norway forward Ada Hegerberg, who suffered an ACL injury in January 2020. Parris scored eight goals in 15 appearances in her first season, winning the league (which was curtailed by the pandemic), French cup and Champions League. She has 11 goals in 19 games this term but Lyon sit second with two games to play. They are one point behind Paris Saint-Germain, who knocked them out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals and whom they host on Sunday.
Miedema, the record goalscorer in the WSL and for the Netherlands, has 60 goals in 67 WSL games since she joined Arsenal from Bayern Munich in 2017. She missed out on the golden boot this year to Chelsea’s Sam Kerr but won it in the two preceding seasons.
Arsenal finished the 2020-21 season empty-handed but beat Manchester United to the final Champions League spot by one point. They are searching for a manager to replace Joe Montemurro and have confirmed the departures of the forward Jill Roord to Wolfsburg and the right-back Leonie Maier at the end of her contract. Iwabuchi, a long-term target for the club, joined Aston Villa in January and played at Bayern Munich with Miedema and Lisa Evans, who is also at Arsenal.