Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that Jean Makoun could be in line to replace Mahamadou Diarra at the Stade Gerland.
Diarra has been widely tipped to leave Lyon this summer, with Manchester United among the interested parties, but Aulas warned that it would take a very substantial bid to make them part with the midfielder.
However, he did reveal that the club were intent on covering their bases by snapping up Lille powerhouse Jean Makoun.
"I have had a meeting with Mahamadou," said Aulas. "We have spoken frankly.
"If there is to be a transfer it will be about é¼37 million (£25 million), just like for Michael Essien.
"It is normal, he is the best defensive midfielder in the world.
"Makoun could replace him."
Lyon are, however, keeping their eye on St Etienne's Didier Zokora in case Claude Puel does not allow Makoun to leave.
Aulas also revealed that certain other players could be set for a summer exit, including Jeremy Clement, who could join Paul Le Guen at Rangers.
"Clement has received an offer from Rangers and we are studying it," he confirmed.
"We could also let Benoit Pedrotti go."
The rumour mill has gone into overdrive at Lyon, with Chelsea right back Glen Johnson linked with a switch to the French champions and Anthony Reveillere rumoured to be considering a move elsewhere.
Aulas offered no comment on this speculation, but did confirm that an approach for Didier Drogba had been rebuffed by Chelsea.
"I talked with Peter Kenyon and he told me that a Drogba transfer was impossible," he explained.
"We will wait, but we will sign another player before the World Cup."
It is expected that Lyon will also wrap up a deal for Rennes midfielder Kim Kallstrom in the next few days.