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Arsenal dealt January transfer blow as Houssem Aouar addresses exit talk

Lyon star Houssem Aouar has ruled out a winter transfer window departure.

Arsenal were strongly linked with the midfielder during the summer window, targeting Aouar as well as Thomas Partey. The Gunners ended up signing the latter with their budget unable to stretch across both players, and Aouar stayed put at Lyon despite talk of Juventus making a late bid.

Speculation has been rife over whether Arsenal and Juventus could reignite their interest during the winter window, but talk of a January move for the Frenchman has been put to bed.

Aouar has been in hot water recently at Lyon, receiving criticism after failing to take part in a post-match warm-up with teammates, and speculation ramped up when the 22-year-old was left out of Lyon’s win over Stade Reims on Sunday.

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But Aouar has ended talk of a fallout or a January move by telling RMC Sport: “I’ll be Lyon until next summer, at least.”

Asked about rumours linking with an exit, he added: “I do not see how I could be unhappy in my city, in my club. That is something that I do not understand (rumours that he is unhappy).

“I am very happy to be here, I took the decision to stay with the club that formed me, I savour every day I have here.

“Everything that I want, is to put this club back in its rightful place with my team-mates. I am very happy to be here, we have an enormous amount of ambitions for this season.”

Aouar stayed put at Lyon after failing to get his Arsenal move
(Image: Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Quizzed about whether talk of a departure in the summer has affected him, Aouar replied: “That is part of a footballer’s life, I am very well surrounded, the club and the coach have spoken with me a lot, it was quite a normal period. I dealt with it well and as I said, I am very happy to have stayed.”

Aouar’s supposed fallout with the club…