Speaking to Le Progrès, Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas actively named Arsenal when asked the following question: “Is it possible that Houssem Aouar will stay?”
To which Aulas replied: “Financially, Arsenal are like everyone else (in a tricky spot). And Houssem could say to himself that the best thing would be to stay with us.”
As reported by L’Équipe today, it is total radio silence. Lyon have not heard from Arsenal, through their Technical Director Edu, since August, when he called Sporting Director Juninho to discuss the possibility of a player exchange deal involving Mattéo Guendouzi and cash. OL rejected this out of hand and have no enquiries from any club for the player from anyone since.
Get French Football News contacted the player’s brother and adviser, Brahim, and asked him if Houssem had any interest in Arsenal or whether the conditions that the player had set out for himself before this summer window started, a desire to only leave Lyon for a club that is currently built to win the Champions’ League, still stood. Brahim choose not to comment on this, even when pressed by GFFN.
OL President Aulas has no intention of being bullied into a sale at a cut price with hours of the window remaining either – the asking price remains €60m and Lyon sources contacted by Get French Football News don’t believe that Arsenal can afford the French youth international. These sources, for the purpose of clarification not Brahim, add that the player had not seriously considered his future being in the Premier League before this summer, but that his priority would be Manchester City if he was to move to England. It however does not seem likely that they will present an offer, despite Pep Guardiola’s longstanding interest in the player.
Thus, the Gunners remain in pole position, if they can offer the €60m demanded.