Arsenal look set to be busy in the coming weeks as they shape a squad for new boss Mikel Arteta that can challenge further up the Premier League table next season.
A report in L’Equipe last week, as cited by GFFN suggested that Arsenal have had a bid turned down for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.
The report suggested that Lyon do not want a player swap, mainly because they need the money rather than a replacement. They are said to be demanding €60million for the player, who is said to be highly rated by both boss Arteta and Technical Director Edu Gaspar.
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However more recent reports seem to hint that Lyon have not out right rejected the offer, but rather are waiting for a potential better offer to arrive. This could be a deal to watch, especially if the Gunners can shift some of their out of favour midfielders.
Aouar is a very tidy player with attacking instincts that would certainly add creativity and technical ability to an Arsenal midfield that is lacking in those qualities. Aged just 22, his best days are ahead of him and Arteta could help mould him into the player Arsenal need at the heartbeat of the midfield.
His talent is unquestionable and his ability to play as a number 8 or number 10 would excite the tactically versatile Arteta.
Aouar’s excellent performances in Lyon’s unexpected Champions League run will mean interest in the 22-year-old will not be exclusive to just Arsenal. However, according to Football.London Arsenal may have an edge in any battle for the player.
The Gunners technical director, Edu, is said to be leading the discussions with Lyon, and is in contact with Sporting director Juninho. The two club’s chiefs will already know each other, having played together at international level for Brazil in the early 2000s. That personal relationship between the two could just play into Arsenal’s hands and put them one step ahead of their rivals.
The Gunners certainly appear to be searching for a central creative presence to add to the team with the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Aouar linked with the Gunners already this summer.