Arsenal have been handed a potential boost in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar, with Lyon dropping the midfielder for tonight’s Ligue 1 outing.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in this window, with Lyon sporting director Juninho previously confirming talks had taken place.
Arsenal and Lyon seemed to have hit a stumbling block, though, with Juninho telling RMC Sport he wasn’t interested in a swap deal involving Matteo Guendouzi, which was put forward.
“I get on very well with the Sporting Director (Edu),” Juninho said. “We spoke on the phone. Houssem Aouar is really well liked by Arteta.
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“There were some discussions for Mattéo Guendouzi, who is also a good player.
“He was brought up during the discussion. But we don’t need his profile, we were very clear.
“If it is like that, we are not interested at all, we cut the conversation, that is where things ended.”
Arsenal were backed to make another move for the Frenchman and that view has only been enhanced after Aouar was left out of Lyon’s starting 11 on Friday night.
Aouar was named among the substitutes for the Ligue 1 fixture away to Bordeaux, with Karl Toko Ekambi taking his place.
L’Equipe has previously claimed the midfielder wanted a fresh challenge and to find a new club before the window closes.
Rudi Garcia’s decision to bench him from the start of their latest fixture may well only reinforce that view for the £54.5m-rated midfielder.