Arsenal set to launch fresh bid to sign 22-year-old star after talks with agent
Arsenal are preparing an improved bid for Houssem Aouar after Lyon rejected a £31.4m player-plus-cash opening offer for the talented midfielder, according to reports via the Mirror.
Mikel Arteta has been busy revamping his squad in recent months as he looks to build a side capable of breaking back into the top four this season but the Gunners boss is still hoping to add another central midfielder to his ranks before the window closes.
Aouar has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates after he was identified by Arteta as a prime target and RMC Sport claimed recently that Arsenal saw an opening offer of £31.4m plus a mystery player – believed to be Matteo Guendouzi – rejected by Lyon.
Juninho, the French club’s sporting director, admitted earlier this week that he has held talks about a deal for Aouar with Arsenal technical director Edu and confirmed they had turned down the chance to sign Guendouzi.
According to the Mirror, Lyon have made it clear they won’t sell Aouar for less than £54.5m this summer and they are under no pressure to cash-in on the cheap as the player has three years left on his contract.
Arteta isn’t ready to give up just yet as the Mirror is quoting Fabrizio Romano as claiming on his podcast that Arsenal are preparing an improved offer for Aouar after holding further talks with the players representatives.
The Guardian journalist says Arsenal chiefs and Arteta are big fans of the 22-year-old and the midfielder is keen to come to the Premier League but it remains to be seen whether a deal can be agreed with Lyon.
Aouar has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting young players in French football and he provided 9 goals and 10 assists last season to help them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
The France Under-21 international would be an excellent addition to Arteta’s squad but money is tight at the Emirates so Arsenal are going to have to sell players to raise some extra transfer funds.
Guendouzi is available for transfer after falling out with Arteta last season while Lucas Torreira is being strongly tipped for a move back to Italy so Arsenal’s hopes of buying Aouar may rest with finding buyers for those two players.
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