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Lyon chief defends Houssem Aouar decision as Arsenal’s next two transfer priorities are revealed

Arsenal’s summer transfer window was largely dominated by two midfield targets.

Thomas Partey was the one that the Gunners managed to seal a deal for after triggering his £45m release clause at Atletico Madrid on Monday evening, with an announcement coming after 11pm.

However, Houssem Aouar was the one that got away.

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The north London outfit’s hopes of landing the Frenchman ended following developments leading up to transfer deadline day.

In the last weekend of September, the 22-year-old was the subject of a bid from the Gunners which was rejected, but talks had been ongoing between the two clubs.

There was an expectation that Arsenal would return with an improved offer to get a deal over the line, but according to RMC Sport, Aouar emerged from a meeting with the Lyon hierarchy and announced to his teammates that he would be staying put.

And despite some Gunners supporters being sent into a brief transfer frenzy after tracking what they believed to be Aouar’s flight from France to England on Monday, the playmaker remains a Lyon player.

Much to the delight of president Jean-Michel Aulas.

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Not only did Lyon manage to keep Aouar, but they also managed to retain the services of Memphis Depay as well as Moussa Dembele, and Aulas has defended his side’s transfer business.

“For the real transfer window, either we were going to strengthen or weaken,” Aulas said, as per Get Football News France.

“And now, we kept our highest wage earners, on the one hand, because we did not have the required offers and also because with Memphis, Houssem (Aouar) and Moussa Dembélé, we are stronger.”

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