According to reports in France via the Daily Mail, Lyon sporting director Juninho has confirmed he’s held talks with Edu about Houssem Aouar but they aren’t interested in taking Matteo Guendouzi as part of any possible deal.
Mikel Arteta is trying to strengthen his midfield options before the transfer window closes next month and Guendouzi is being offered around several clubs after being frozen out of the first team due to disciplinary issues.
Aouar has emerged as a key transfer target in recent weeks after developing into one of the most exciting young talents in France and he provided 9 goals and 10 assists to help Lyon reach the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.
RMC Sport claimed a few days ago that Arsenal formalised their interest in Aouar after offering Lyon £31.4m and a player [widely reported to be Guendouzi] in exchange for the 22-year-old’s signature.
The offer was knocked back and now Lyon sporting director Juninho has confirmed he’s held transfer talks with Arsenal technical director Edu about Aouar – who’s ‘really appreciated’ by Arteta. Juninho also revealed that Guendouzi was discussed but the French outfit rejected the chance to sign him.
Juninho told French radio station Top of the Foot, as per the Daily Mail:
‘I get on very well with Edu, we spoke on the phone. Aouar is really appreciated by Mikel Arteta.
‘Guendouzi was discussed during the call, he is a great player, but he is the wrong profile. We are not interested in that at all, we cut the conversation.’
It would make sense for Arsenal to try and use Guendouzi as bait to land Aouar as he’s not played for the club since March and the hope was Lyon would be tempted to take the French U21 international in a part exchange deal.
However, they aren’t interested so it looks like we’ll have to increase our cash offer if we want to get a deal agreed. In order for that to happen, Arsenal are going to have to raise transfer funds as money is tight at the club right now.
Obviously we’re trying to find a taker for Guendouzi but Arsenal are also reportedly trying to offload Lucas Torreira and a move back to Italy is seemingly on the cards for the Uruguayan international.
If we can sell both players then maybe we’ll have enough money available to get a deal agreed with Lyon for Aouar but there is plenty of work to be done before we can start getting excited.