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Arsenal in ‘Advanced negotiations’ For €35m Lyon Midfielder; Is he The Replacement to Ozil That Arsenal Have Been Craving For?

Houssem Aouar, Arsenal

According to Todofichajes, Arsenal are in ‘advanced negotiations’ with Olympique Lyon for Houssem Aouar. The news was a bit of a surprise and came when Arsenal were believed to be finalizing a deal for Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Even the English news outlet Daily Mirror reported that negotiations between Arsenal and Lyon are indeed at an advanced stage for Aouar. The Frenchman can well be the first arrival at the Emirates Stadium this summer with talks having been accelerated in the past few days.

The fee that is being quoted is between €30-35 million region, which is a huge drop off from what Lyon were demanding last summer. The financial impact of the pandemic on the French club is believed to be extreme. Thus, they are open to letting their prized asset leave on a cut-price deal.

The Gunners have also been named as a potential destination for Lyon’s Danish centre-back Joachim Anderson, who is set to return to the club after his loan spell ends at Fulham this month. However, negotiations have not yet started between the clubs, and with Brighton’s Ben White deal expected to be wrapped up this month, a switch for the former Sampdoria man looks unlikely now.

Bringing the attention back to Aouar, the North London outfit have been credited to hold an interest in the 22-year-old since last summer. Arsenal’s technical director Edu launched two bids for the Frenchman last year, which were turned down by the Les Gones.

European heavyweights such as Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the U21 France international. But, no other club is believed to be chasing the midfielder as earnestly as the North London outfit.

After missing out on Norwich City’s Emi Buendia, several players have been linked to Arsenal. Some high-profile names being James MaddisonRodrigo De Paul, Aaron Ramsey, and Philippe Coutinho. However, deals for those might turn out to be expensive for a club of limited resources. That’s what signing Houssem Aouar provides; freeing up space to strengthen other areas of the pitch.

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Chasing Aouar does not mean the Gunners are settling for a satisfactory option. The attacking midfielder has been impressive for Lyon since making his first-team debut in February 2017, against AZ Alkmaar in the Round of 32 of the Europa League when he was just 19.

Since then, the now 22-year-old has scored 32 goals and assisted 31 in 170 appearances for Lyon. He is also versatile, having played 17 matches as a central midfielder, five as an attacking midfielder, and three as a left-midfielder last campaign. This can become hugely beneficial to Mikel Arteta in being more flexible to formation changes during the games.

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