Arsenal have reportedly ended their long-standing interest in Houssem Aouar after refusing to meet Lyon’s demands for the midfielder.
According to Le 10 Sport, Arsenal have reportedly ended their long-standing interest in Houssem Aouar. The story comes after the Gunners made a sizeable offer for the French midfielder but fell short of Lyon’s asking price. There are other clubs, especially from the Premier League, that remain interested in the playmaker.
Arsenal have been actively pursuing targets since the window opened. They have already tied up deals for Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares, while Albert Sambi Lokonga remains in the pipeline to be completed very soon. The Gunners have also agreed to a £50 million deal with Brighton for defender Ben White.
Despite those positive outcomes, Arsenal are still very much in the hunt for a top-quality central midfielder to replace the potentially outgoing Granit Xhaka. Additionally, Mikel Arteta also eyes on a creative player to improve their good looking frontline for next season.
Houssem Aouar’s name is not new to the North London club’s fanbase, after being linked throughout last summer. However, this time, Arsenal did not seem too keen on pursuing him initially, but after Lyon slashed their asking price to around €25 million, the Gunners considered the midfielder as an option.
Aouar’s value has dropped significantly after a below-par season in Ligue 1, and the French side showed a willingness to cash out. Arsenal reportedly made an offer that was somewhat below Lyon’s asking price and have refused to increase their bid any further.
The Gunners appear to have other targets in mind, but realistically Aouar seemed possible to acquire. Arsenal hold heavy interest in Manuel Locatelli after making an improved €45 million offer lately but knows the player wants a move to Juventus.
Ruben Neves is also linked with Arsenal as an ideal replacement for Xhaka and an alternative to Locatelli. Talks are reportedly going on with Wolves, but both clubs are still apart on the fee agreement. There are also links with Leicester City’s James Maddison, for whom Arsenal have recently prepared a bumper contract offer.
Back to Aouar, and it seems that the midfielder will move one way or another out of Lyon. Tottenham have recently come into the equation and made a sizeable offer for the midfielder, as Nuno Espirito Santo evaluates his options for next season. Manchester United and even Liverpool are rumoured to be interested, as both clubs look for a midfielder with a similar profile to Aouar.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will now likely pursue their alternative targets unless there is late drama wherein the player demands the move to the Emirates specifically. There is less chance of the Gunners going back with an improved offer to Lyon’s liking without such a situation, with a move to Tottenham likelier.