Houssem Aouar has indicated he could be willing to stay at Lyon beyond the end of next season after Arsenal’s failed move for him during the transfer window.
Arsenal had a £32million opening bid rejected by Lyon, who were holding out for a deal worth up to £54million, a price the Gunners were simply unwilling to reach even for one of their top midfield targets.
Aouar would have welcomed the chance to join Arsenal but was unmoved by the failure of his transfer. Indeed he was said to be relaxed when Lyon told him late last week that they were not prepared to let him leave.
Should he continue to produce the form he displayed in the latter stages of last season’s Champions League, where he was the shining light in Lyon’s surprise run to the semi-finals, then interest in Aouar is certain to remain high.
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Arsenal remain in the market for a creative midfielder of his profile to eventually supplement Thomas Partey whilst Juventus and Real Madrid were linked with his services in recent weeks. Indeed Zinedine Zidane, manager of the latter club, was glowing in his praise of Aouar even whilst ruling out a bid this summer.
Yet Aouar, who has been with Lyon since he was 11 years old, has indicated he is prepared to go beyond the 2020/21 season with his current club.
“I discussed a lot with [Lyon sporting director] Juninho,” Aouar told Telefoot. “He shows me his confidence every day: it’s a real pleasure to work with him.
“To stay here for another season, or more, with him, it’s a great pride.”
Aouar added: “I’m happy to stay in Lyon. It’s my city, my club: it’s a great pride to represent OL.
“It wasn’t necessarily Arsenal or nothing else, even though at the end it was basically that. I had to make a decision, and I am happy to stay here.”
By signing up for our Arsenal…