A year on from when Arsenal were first showing an interest in signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, reports linking the Frenchman with a move to the Emirates Stadium have once again resurfaced.
Among the positions that are in need of strengthening most is the central attacking midfield berth. Following Martin Odegaard’s return to Real Madrid at the end of his loan spell, the Gunners are now light on options in that particular area of the team and are keen to add a new face to bolster that area.
Numerous names have been linked with a move to north London to fill Odegaard’s shoes, including Leicester City star James Maddison. But with the Foxes poised to demand around £60million for his signature, it remains to be seen if Arsenal could fund a deal for him and land other targets they have in mind.
With that said, Aouar could be a suitable alternative. Here, football.london has taken a close look at everything we know so far concerning the Frenchman’s future.
In June, it was reported by The Sun that Arsenal were preparing themselves to launch a fresh bid to try and bring Aouar to north London this summer.
The highly-rated midfield architect, who was heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium a year ago, before the Gunners opted to sign Thomas Partey instead, could leave Lyon this summer following the club’s failure to reach the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League.
It was claimed that their failure to get into Europe’s top club competition would see Aouar’s price slashed to just £20million, representing a potential bargain buy for any suitor.
While the Gunners are reportedly keen on signing him this summer, their inability to offer European football could be a problem.
Contrary to a report published by Get French Football News, suggesting that Aouar was keen to leave Lyon after being absent from pre-season training for a few days, the Frenchman released a statement to confirm that those reports were wide of the mark.
It was claimed that the midfielder had not been seen in training since reporting back for the first day of pre-season and was keen to push through an exit, with it reported that the departure of Memphis Depay was the catalyst.
However, Aouar soon quashed those reports, confirming that he had been hospitalised through illness.
He said: “Once again, unfortunately an umpteenth “fake news” story has been released about me on multiple social media accounts.
“I’m not in the habit of responding to what is said about me…[but I was] sick, I was hospitalised over the weekend. Know that I am a lot better and that I am ready for the future!
“Thank you to those who have always supported me, in the good times as in the less good times. Allez Lyon.”
Arsenal make opening ‘offer’
Despite Aouar quashing rumours suggesting that he was eager to leave the Ligue 1 club, Arsenal have now lodged a formal bid for the Frenchman.
That is according to Le 10 Sport, who claim the Gunners have submitted a ‘formal offer’ and that talks are ‘progressing well.’
According to the report, the Gunners hope to sign Aouar for somewhere between £17million and £21.4million.
De Bruyne verdict
If Arsenal were to successfully land Aouar after a year of being linked with him, it would be a move that would impress Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
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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That is because the Belgian ace, who will be looking to help City defend their Premier League crown in the forthcoming campaign, is a huge fan of his talents and made a special case for waxing lyrical about him following a Champions League meeting between City and Lyon almost a year ago.
He 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.”