Arsenal are set to improve their offer for Houssem Aouar tonight – but Lyon will immediately reject their latest bid, according to reports. The Gunners are keen to bring the 22-year-old to north London before next week’s transfer window deadline.
Mikel Arteta wants the France youth international to bolster his options in midfield with Aouar seen as the ideal talent to add extra creativity and vision in the middle of the park.
Arsenal have already had at least one offer turned down by Lyon for Aouar with the French club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas taking to Twitter to make it clear that the Londoners were well short of the player’s valuation.
With the closure of the window rapidly approaching, Aulas added on Monday: “From Friday, the players who have not left will not leave.”
And Arsenal will look to test Lyon’s resolve with an improved offer of around £35million (€38m) this evening, according RMC Sport via Get French Football News.
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Arteta is believed to have held a phone call with Aouar as he looks to convince the Frenchman to move to the English capital.
But Lyon will outright reject Arsenal’s newest bid, it is claimed, as they hold out for nearer to £45m (€50m).
RMC Sport’s Mohamed Bouhafsi said: “The negotiations between Arsenal & Lyon are really quite complicated.
“There is a €12m gap in negotiations right now, OL have no intention of being grabbed by the throat here.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes it is “imperative” that his former club bring Aouar to the Emirates after their 3-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Monday night.
“It felt like a training game for Liverpool in respect of Arsenal were saying you can try and get out but we will press you,” he told Premier League Productions.
“You can see that in Liverpool’s team everyone can move forward because Arsenal were starting so deep but what was evident to me was that we didn’t have that person in midfield who was comfortable enough on the ball until [Dani] Ceballos came on.
“[They need] Someone who they can pass the ball to, who is comfortable to receive it with someone on his back, who can pop it off, who can turn it round the corner.
“From there Arsenal can play but we can’t do that at the moment. That’s why it’s imperative we get Aouar from Lyon.
“He’s someone that can get on the ball and get the forwards going. you saw the chances that Ceballos made when he came on. that’s what Arsenal need.
“They’re so much more organised now but with the organisation they need the right pieces in there. If they can’t get that player this is what will happen.
“We can beat the likes of Fulham but when it’s that type of calibre of team [as Liverpool] you’ll see Arsenal struggle.”
And asked about making more signings after the clash with the Premier League champions, Arsenal boss Arteta told journalists: “We don’t have any news on new players and either with players that might leave the football club.
“It’s a week to go, I think it’s going to be really busy for other clubs because not much business has been done. Let’s see what happens.”
But Gunners icon Nigel Winterburn would rather Arsenal signed Thomas Partey than Aouar, telling FreeSuperTips: “[Partey] takes the ball in tight situations and has the power and the ability to go past the opposing midfield players.
“Once you start to eliminate in this way, as Partey does, you tend to open space in and around the opposition’s defence.
“With Arsenal’s pace up front, they can take advantage of this and cause some damage.
“Mikel Arteta is not totally happy with the midfield that he currently has and looks like he wants to change it up.
“As always with Arsenal it takes a long time to get things done. We’re just going to have to again wait and see, but I don’t believe that Arsenal have the money to bring them both in.
“Also, when discussing ideal signings, we forget to consider whether those players want to join Arsenal, and that’s the most important thing.
“So, we’ve got to wait and see, but my preference of the two would be Thomas Partey.”
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