Lyon chief issues Houssem Aouar transfer statement after Arsenal submit bid for £55m playmaker

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas appears to have confirmed that Arsenal have submitted a bid for Houssem Aouar but warned the Gunners that they are “too far” from his valuation.

Aouar is a primary target for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his side’s midfield before the transfer window closes on October 5.

Reports in France last night claimed that Arsenal’s interest had materialised into a formal offer for Aouar, whose price tag for much of the window has been quoted at around £55million.

Posting on Twitter, Aulas wrote: “For Houssem Arsenal is too far from his value: we are counting on him to play a great match in Lorient and lead OL in CL next year.”

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His statement that Arsenal are “too far from his value” appears to indicate that an initial offer has been submitted for Aouar, said to be around £32million. At the very least it indicates that Aulas is aware of what the Gunners are prepared to pay as an initial gambit for the 22-year-old.

Aouar is understood to be greatly admired by Arsenal manager Arteta, who is believed to have identified him as a target, and would offer the Gunners a more advanced threat in midfield then the bulk of their current options do. Last season he scored nine goals and provided 10 assists in 41 games across all competitions, excelling in the latter stages of the Champions League as Lyon reached the semi-finals.

Though negotiating with Aulas is rarely something to be relished by buying clubs Arsenal do have the strong relationship between their technical director Edu and his Lyon counterpart Juninho Pernambucano working in their favour. The two were international team-mates in the mid-2000s whilst the latter succeeded Edu as co-ordinator of the Brazilian national team.

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