First Lyon Director Juninho announced that the club has had no contact with Arsenal regarding midfielder Houssem Aouar. Then, Arsenal are alleged to have offered £31.2m plus Guendouzi, but Lyon wanted £55.5m and dismissed any chances of a player plus cash involving Guendouzi. Now, according to Italian Journalist Nicolo Schira, a five-year deal has been agreed with the player.
So where exactly are we? Pretty much where we were before really. If Arsenal want the player, they will need to find at least another £10m to even get the ball rolling, but it’s really down to who blinks first in this deal. According to nostrabet, reports have also emerged stating that Arsenal are looking to go in with an offer of £36.5m for Aouar soon.
Lyon may have to climb down if the player is determined to go to Arsenal, with the Ligue 1 club keen on funds to commence their own transfer business. Word has it that Arsenal will not go much further in pursuit of the highly-rated Frenchman because of their financial position and increased wage bill.
It’s feasible that the Gunners could easily pull out and go with Ceballos as their main creative force for this season, although that could prove to be a problem, with academy players due to move out on loan and any unfortunate injury that could befall the Spanish playmaker. They would then have to go for unproven and inconsistent youngsters or reinstate Ozil or Guendouzi, which would be a real kick in the balls.
If Arsenal are going to get this deal over the line, they need to push hard from now until the end of the transfer window. A transfer is still plausible and both Arteta and Edu seem to be on the same page in terms of the player, but the finances are dependent on outgoing players. The club is said to be looking to release five players and commit to some loans if the figures don’t stack up.
Arteta is planning for scenarios that include the acquisition of Partey and Aouar, one or the other or neither. That’s quite a precarious position to be in, with the season already underway and any new arrivals would need longer to integrate into the first team.
If the figure of £36.5m is correct and Lyon sell, it will be another case of theft with Arsenal already snapping up Gabriel for a truly insignificant sum compared to Virgil van Dijk. Manchester United stumped up £67.6m for Bruno Fernandes (26) and although he has returned great value for money, Aouar would represent an even bigger and better bargain. Arsenal fans aren’t used to low prices that yield high-quality players.