Houssem Aouar has opened up on why he chose to stay at Lyon this summer instead of forcing a move to Arsenal. Aouar had been the Gunners’ top target for the majority of the summer, but Lyon stood firm on their valuation and refused to sell.
Arsenal are set to look elsewhere after missing out on Aouar.
The French midfielder was valued at £55million by Lyon, with Arsenal unable to get them to lower their asking price.
The Gunners reportedly made a bid of £32m and Matteo Guendouzi, but Lyon rejected.
The Ligue 1 side decided over the weekend that they would end all negotiations to sell any of their players so as to avoid losing anyone late in the window.
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Despite changing that stance late on Sunday, with Memphis Depay set to join Barcelona, they are expected to keep Aouar.
The 22-year-old scored for Lyon on Sunday in their 1-1 draw with rivals Marseille, and afterwards discussed why he had opted against pushing for an exit.
Aouar declared that he wants to stay at the Groupama Stadium because he wants to play a big role in the club’s revival.
“I felt that I can still bring something to this team,” Aouar said.
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“I wanted to continue the adventure with the club who raised me.
“We must raise our heads because we have to do better.”
Arsenal continued their impressive start to the season on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Sheffield United.
And afterwards, Mikel Arteta reassured fans that the club is doing everything possible to strengthen before the transfer window slams shut tonight.
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“What I can guarantee is that we are doing our maximum for [new signings]. Whether we’re going to achieve it or not, I don’t know,’ Arteta said.
“Believe me, believe me, the ownership, the board, Edu and myself are doing everything we can to maximise the resources we have to improve the team and sustain and keep the players that are in this club to make this club successful.
“I have 100 per cent backing from them. And it’s not just words, it’s reality. Whoever knows me, if it wasn’t like that I wouldn’t say that. But I say it because I feel it and it’s true.
“Whatever we can do, whether it’s ourselves or the owners, they are willing to do it to support us, to back us, because I feel they believe in what we are trying to do.”
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