Didier Deschamps has named Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar in the France national squad for the upcoming internationals.
The reigning world champions face Ukraine in a friendly next Wednesday before taking on Portugal and Croatia in the Nations League.
Aouar was included in the 24-man squad, alongside Lyon teammate Leo Dubois, but Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette was left out.
Arsenal are keen to sign Aouar before the transfer window closes, with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta eyeing a creative central midfielder to bolster his squad.
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Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has hinted that Aouar could leave the club this summer – but only if a deal is completed by Friday.
“From Friday evening, when Rudi [Garcia] will choose his squad vs Marseille, there will be no departures,” said Aulas.
“We could see ourselves lose two players.”
Aulas previously confirmed that Arsenal had made an offer, but it did not meet the Ligue 1 club’s valuation.
“Financially, Arsenal are like everyone else [in a tricky spot],” he said. “And Houssem could say to himself that the best thing would be to stay with us.”
Regardless of the ongoing talks, some Arsenal fans believe a deal for Aouar is nearing, and took Thursday’s France squad announcement as an opportunity to make some tongue-in-cheek jokes about the midfielder soon moving to the Emirates.
On the pitch, Arsenal’s winning start to the season was ended by champions Liverpool after a 3-1 victory for the Reds at Anfield on Monday night.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota sealed the win for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Speaking after the game, Gunners boss Arteta was asked about whether his side would be adding additional players before the window shuts.
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