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Houssem Aouar says he’s happy staying in Lyon this summer, after deciding to remain with the club amid interest from Arsenal.
Houssem Aouar came very close to a move to Arsenal this summer. The clubs held long negotiations, discussed multiple bids and various sources seemed more and more confident the deal would go through.
Then it didn’t. With just a few days remaining of the transfer window, reports started to emerge that Lyon were keeping the midfielder, and he’d confirmed his desire to stay in a meeting with the hierarchy.
There are some other rumours about what really happened, including talk that the demands of Houssem’s brother Brahim significantly damaged the deal. But the player insists he’s happy staying in France.
“I’m happy to stay in Lyon. It’s my city, my club: it’s a great pride to represent OL,” Aouar told Telefoot. “I discussed a lot with Juninho. 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 honour.
“It wasn’t necessarily Arsenal or nothing else, even though in the end it was basically that. Obviously, I had to make a decision, and I am happy to stay here.”
Of course, that’s probably what he’d say either way. It’s unlikely he’d go public with his desire to leave his current club and subsequent failure to do so because his brother was asking for too much money. That’s suicidal PR.
For now, Aouar needs to remain in the good books at Lyon and keep impressing to attract buyers in the coming windows.