Lyon respond to rumours Arsenal have agreed transfer deal with Houssem Aouar

Houssem Aouar has been heavily linked with Arsenal in recent weeks (Picture: Getty)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has played down rumours Houssem Aouar could be on his way to Arsenal and insists the club are counting on the midfielder this season.

Aouar, 22, is regarded as one of the top young midfielders in world football after starring on Lyon’s path to the Champions League semi-finals and his outstanding performances last season made Europe’s elite sit up and take notice.

Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen his options in the middle of the park for the new campaign and Lyon chief Juninho confirmed that Arsenal technical director Edu had made contact over a possible agreement for Aouar earlier this month.

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Arsenal have been unable to agree a fee with Lyon with the transfer deadline fast approaching – but reports on Friday suggested the north London giants were making significant progress in their pursuit of the Frenchman.

According to French outlet L’Equipe, Aouar had agreed personal terms with the Gunners after…