Arsenal are once again being linked with a move for Houssem Aouar.
It’s no secret that the Frenchman was on the Gunners’ radar before the 2020/21 season got underway, but Mikel Arteta’s side were eventually priced out of a deal last summer.
Fast forward a few months and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas’ stance appears to have softened as The Sun claim he could be available for just £20m this summer.
That is less than half of what Aulas was previously demanding, meaning Arsenal technical director Edu could seal a transfer masterstroke by saving £35m based on the asking price last summer to complete the club’s first signing of the current window.
Furthermore, the Gunners have already been given hope of signing Aouar after he hinted that the Nice clash on the final day of the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season may have been his last in Lyon colours.
“This could be (my last match at Lyon), but it could also not be,” he said ahead of the game. “I do not ask myself these sorts of questions before an important match like this.
“I have not played as much as I would have liked. I struggled to come back after COVID. A pretty mixed season (for me). I have improved in terms of managing injuries.
“I am happy with my statistics in the few matches that I have done, so a mixed season. I feel good, I am at 100% for this match.”
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 that said, a reason that Aouar could be available for £20m is due to Lyon’s failure to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Interestingly, it was that 3-2 home defeat by Nice that cost them and some Gunners fans had a theory that lowering Aouar’s price-tag was Arteta’s long-term plan all along after allowing William Saliba to join the Ligue 1 side on loan during the January transfer window.
But whether Aouar finally ends up at the Emirates Stadium following an almost year-long transfer saga remains to be seen.