Arsenal are back in the hunt for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, with an offer being made for the French international in the last few days.
According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Arsenal are back in the hunt for long-term target Houssem Aouar and have submitted an offer for the French midfielder to Lyon. There have been no confirmations on the offer being accepted or the bid amount, but it does confirm Arsenal rekindling their interest.
The Houssem Aouar-to-Arsenal stories dominated last summer’s window. Arsenal eventually opted to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. Since the current window began, there have hardly been whispers about Arsenal’s interest in Aouar, with the feeling that the chase had cooled down for good.
However, in the last few days, multiple French media outlets have reported on Arsenal possibly reigniting their pursuit of the 23-year-old French international. Lyon have reportedly slashed their asking price on Aouar and are demanding around €25 million, something Arsenal should be happy to pay.
Lyon are cash strapped and are ready to move some of their important players to fund fresh transfers. Aouar has two years left on his current deal with Lyon, and unlike last summer, there’s no real interest from clubs in him. Lyon feel his value could further diminish next summer and are ready to cash in.
Arsenal’s name has resurfaced due to their search for a midfielder. Despite their heavy interest last summer, they were not chasing the Aouar until a few days ago. Arsenal were pursuing other midfield targets, namely Ruben Neves from Wolves and Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo.
However, Arsenal’s interest in Neves has cooled off due to Wolves’ high asking price, while Locatelli is more interested in joining Juventus. Aouar would represent good value for the Gunners as they replace Granit Xhaka, who could join Roma.
There have been suggestions that Aouar had an underwhelming season with Lyon. However, his stats speak volumes as the midfielder finished with seven goals and three assists in 30 Ligue 1 appearances. Those numbers are way better than any Arsenal midfielder last term playing in similar positions or roles.
Mikel Arteta understandably holds an interest in the French midfielder and could still plan his next season with Aouar in mind. Arsenal have already let Matteo Guendouzi join Marseille and have Albert Sambi Lokonga lined up as a replacement. Meanwhile, Aouar is considered a first-team starter rather than someone Arsenal want to put under a development phase, like Lokonga.
As things stand, there have been no further updates pertaining to whether Lyon are ready to accept Arsenal’s reported offer. It remains unclear what Arsenal might have tabled, but it is expected to be around what Lyon are asking currently for Aouar. What will now be interesting to see is if the 23-year-old French midfielder finally arrives at the Emirates this summer.