Chief confirms transfer talks after Arsenal launch bid to sign 22-year-old star
Lyon chief Juninho has confirmed he’s held transfer talks with Arsenal director Edu over a potential deal for Houssem Aouar but knocked back the chance to take Matteo Guendouzi in exchange, according to reports in France via the Daily Mail.
Aouar has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal this summer as Mikel Arteta needs to strengthen his midfield options and the Lyon star has reportedly been identified as a prime target.
The 22-year-old has forged a reputation as one of the most exciting young players in French football and he starred for Lyon last season with 9 goals and 10 assists to help them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
His superb form has caught the eye of Arteta and RMC Sport claimed recently that Arsenal have offered to pay £31.4m and include a mystery player – believed to be Guendouzi – in exchange for Aouar’s signature but the proposal was knocked back by Lyon.
The French clubs sporting director Juninho has now suggested that transfer talks for Aouar took place with Arsenal’s technical director Edu but negotiations stalled after they rejected the chance to sign Guendouzi.
The Daily Mail claim Juninho told French radio station Top of the Foot:
‘I get on very well with Edu, we spoke on the phone. Aouar is really appreciated by Mikel Arteta.
‘Guendouzi was discussed during the call, he is a great player, but he is the wrong profile. We are not interested in that at all, we cut the conversation.’
Arsenal are trying to offload Guendouzi this summer after he was frozen out of the first team following a bust-up with Arteta back in March but it appears Lyon aren’t interested in taking him in part exchange for Aouar.
The Gunners will now have to increase their offer if they want to get a deal agreed for the Lyon midfielder and Aouar would be an excellent signing if they could lure him to north London this summer.
However, Arteta may have to sell some of his fringe players to help generate extra funds as money is tight at the Emirates. As well as trying to find a buyer for Guendouzi, Arsenal are also open to selling Lucas Torreira as he’s struggled to hold down a regular first team place.
If the Gunners could offload Guendouzi and Torreira that would free-up space for Aouar if a deal could be done while Arsenal are also being heavily linked with a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.
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