Arsenal have reportedly ended their pursuit of Houssem Aouar, having brought an end to their talks with Lyon for the French midfielder.
According to reputed Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have conceded defeat in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar. Talks between the Gunners and Lyon over a possible move for the 22-year-old Frenchman have stopped, with his €60 million price tag deemed excessive.
Aouar has progressed leaps and bounds since breaking into the first-team setup at Lyon in 2017. It is in the last couple of seasons, though, that the player has not only cemented his place in the side but also become a pivotal figure for Les Gones, racking up nearly 150 appearances for the club.
Arsenal fans seeing that Houssem Aouar is reportedly staying at Lyon this season 😶 pic.twitter.com/OJBQgHtLIh
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 3, 2020
However, after Lyon failed to qualify for either European competition for the current campaign, it was speculated that Aouar’s time at Lyon was coming to an end. Such a scenario had piqued the interest of Arsenal, with a number of other clubs also keeping a close eye on developments.
Arsenal’s interest in Aouar makes a great deal of sense, considering the midfield options that Mikel Arteta has at his disposal. While Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos have forged a solid partnership in the middle of the park, the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil are surplus to requirements at the Emirates.
Furthermore, Mohamed Elneny might only be good enough to be a backup option as the season progresses, while Joe Willock is not deemed ready enough to be a regular yet. As a result, it has been imperative for Arsenal to bolster their midfield and add some much-needed quality. However, the north Londoners have, for a long time, been set back by Lyon’s €60 million asking price.
🚨🚨 Houssem #Aouar has just come out of a meeting with Lyon. #Aouar has just announced to the staff that he remains at #OL! Despite the offers from Arsenal and the concrete interests of Juventus and #PSG, the player decided to play the season with #OL.
— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) October 3, 2020
In the past week or so, the Gunners had lodged a bid worth €38 million plus add-ons, as per Fabrizio Romano. However, Lyon had been adamant on their €60 million valuation of Aouar and the talks have consequently broken down completely, with Arsenal making it clear that they will not shell out the required sum for the 22-year-old.
Romano also added that Arsenal were the only possible destination for Aouar, with the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG, who recently emerged as the latest suitors not having a chance to snap him up. Now, though, the deal has collapsed, with negotiations coming to a grinding halt.
French outlet RMC Sport have also added that Aouar changed his mind about leaving Lyon for a multitude of reasons. So, as the final 48 hours of the summer transfer window approach, it looks like Arsenal will fail to add to Arteta’s midfield options, after refusing to pay €60 million for Aouar and ceding interest in him.