Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and the club’s hierarchy are reportedly in love with Houssem Aouar, who has been identified as a top target this summer. The Lyon star was a shining light for the Ligue 1 club as they reached the Champions League semi-finals, where they were eventually beaten 3-0 by Bayern.
Aouar was arguably the best player in memorable knockout wins over both Juventus and Manchester City en-route to the last four.
Pep Guardiola has already previously declared his admiration for the 22-year-old, who also caught the eye in the 2018/19 group stages against City.
Now Arsenal appear to have entered the fray but the midfield technician, who has received his first international call-up by Didier Deschamps, will not come cheap.
Lyon sporting director Juninho has already admitted that the club may be forced to cash in on Aouar this summer. He told Le10 Sport: “In the absence of arrivals, I rather think that there will be departures.
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“Houssem Aouar? When you have great players in the squad, it is quite logical that other bigger teams and with greater economic power come to seek those players.
“There is a risk of losing important players. If we lose important players, I have already spoken with the president, we will have the right to balance the squad.”
Now, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Arsenal board and Arteta are in agreement that he is a player of concrete interest.
“I think it’s difficult about Aouar, because we were speaking about €50million for Thomas Partey,” Romano told Lee Gunner in an interview on YouTube.
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“If we speak about Aouar we are speaking about €60m or €70m, so it will be so difficult to take Aouar.
“For sure what I can guarantee is that the Arsenal board is in love with Aouar, Mikel Arteta is also in love with Aouar.
“For sure they will try but many other clubs have tried, there are rumours here in Italy with Juventus.
“The same that Juventus say ‘we like the player but it will be difficult to pay €60m or €70m this summer’.
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“His agents have said they need time and he had a terrible season until the end of August, we have been playing all the summer and he wants to relax and decide in September.
“We need to wait to see if Arsenal, Manchester City or Juventus will go with an important bid.
“At the moment there is no club that has offered Lyon €60m.
“We have to always remember we are in COVID, it will be difficult to pay this kind of money.”
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