Arsenal have pulled out of negotiations with Lyon for the signing of long-term target Houssem Aouar, with the Gunners unwilling to meet the required asking price to prise the Frenchman away from the Ligue 1 side this summer.
Aouar has been linked with the north London club for a while dating back to previous transfer windows, however the latest developments in the transfer saga doesn’t make for good reading if you are an Arsenal fan.
Alexis Bernard’s report states that the first bid from Mikel Arteta’s side was below €20m (£17.1m) and after weeks of negotiations, the Arsenal hierarchy decided it was time to pull the plug on any potential deal.
Additionally to this, it seems that more competitors have entered the race which may have hampered Arteta’s side’s attempts to prise him away from France in a bargain deal, which could have been possible without any competitors due to the financial crash in French football due to Covid-19.
Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United are also very keen on securing the signature of the 23-year-old, with the Merseyside club looking to replace Georginio Wijnaldum, and their rivals in Manchester looking at potential Paul Pogba replacements if he was to leave Old Trafford this summer.
The attacking midfielder has received a lot of praise over the years from certain people within football, including Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, who picked the Frenchman out as the standout performer in a Champions League clash between City and Lyon last year.
De Bruyne, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News, said: “Lyon have a great team. I don’t follow the French league as much as other leagues, but if I have to pick one player that has impressed me from Lyon, it would be Houssem Aouar.
“He was fantastic.”
Now ex-Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has also been complimentary of the Lyon man in the past when Los Blancos were heavily linked to Aouar in the past.
“I don’t know what information you have,” Zidane said in October last year when asked if there was anything in the reports linking Aouar with a move to the Bernabeu.
“He is a great player, I know that. Maybe one day he can play for Real Madrid, but right now we have this squad and we’re going with this squad.”
Despite all the glowing praise that has been given to the Frenchman over the years, it now seems Arsenal will not be the club to secure the services of the Lyon midfielder despite all the noise around the deal this year.
James Maddison is another central attacking midfielder target for the north London club this summer, but with his high price tag coupled with Leicester’s reluctance to lose one of their best players in this transfer window – this deal seems unlikely to be going ahead.
Maybe with the Croydon-born Emile Smith Rowe looking more likely by the day to stay at the club as per Arteta’s comments after the Hibernian friendly, the need for a new number ten may not be as high up on the transfer priority list as previously thought.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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With the 20-year-old set to take up the number 10 shirt number for upcoming 2021/22 season, that itself could be part of the reason why Edu and co did decide to pull out of the Aouar deal in the end.