With days to until the transfer window closes, the negotiations between Arsenal and the clubs of their key transfer targets – Houssem Aouar, Thomas Partey, and Amadou Diawara, are still ongoing.
It’s rumoured that the Gunners could seal the deal for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar with one last bid before Friday’s imposed early deadline and then the final discussions will determine whether Partey or Diawara follow.
I’m told that the negotiations for Partey have been very difficult and that it’s far from certain that an agreement can be reached between the North London club and Atletico Madrid and that it’s very much dependent on outgoings in the time that remains.
Amadou Diawara remains the better option in terms of price, probably around £24m with bolt-ons but Arteta hasn’t yet given up on his two preferred targets. Not that the 23-year-old Guinean is out of contention, far from it, but Partey has the edge with his style of play and considerable experience.
The priority is Houssem Aouar because Lyon have stated that they want a deal concluded by Friday and Edu, Arsenal’s technical director is trying to conclude the deal with one final offer that will stretch into £40m plus. It’s a case of who blinks first and Arsenal simply can’t afford to miss this deal after investing time and money to bring him to the Emirates.
I expect the deal to go through because he is very highly regarded by Mikel Arteta and there is a genuine need for his quality and creativity, something that was glaringly obvious in the PL game against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Arsenal need urgent reinforcements and I’d certainly be happy with two out of the three coming to North London. Let’s not forget that Arsenal have performed well this transfer window but without these additions, there’s every chance that they’ll come up short again.