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Arsenal’s hopes of signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar have taken a blow after they were made aware of a rival offer from a club offering Champions League football, according to reports.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is still looking to bring in further reinforcements before the summer transfer window shuts in two weeks’ time with a new midfielder high on his agenda.
For a long time Arsenal were linked with Atletico Madrid’s tough-tackling destroyer Thomas Partey, though appeared to have changed tack by targeting creative playmaker Aouar.
However, a deal has stalled with Arsenal unable to pay Lyon’s massive asking price, while sporting director Juninho rejected their attempts to include Matteo Guendouzi as part of the deal.
Arsenal need to sell players before they can afford Aouar – with Lucas Torreira’s exit potentially providing the funds needed – though now they face another hurdle in their hopes of signing the Frenchman.
According to The Telegraph, Aouar has been contacted by a club in the Champions League – something Arsenal cannot offer – who hope to secure a deal before the end of the window.
The club sounded out the 22-year-old to see if he would be interested in a move and are now preparing a late offer, with Lyon demanding a £54million asking price.
While the identity of Aouar’s new suitor is unknown, Juventus have been keeping tabs on the playmaker all summer and Bayern Munich could be in the market for a new midfielder after losing Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas poured scorn on Arsenal’s hopes of signing Aouar last week when asked if he felt a deal with the Gunners was likely, replying: ‘No I don’t think so.
‘No offer yet. It seems that Arsenal don’t want to – or can’t – invest the price for Houssem, who is our best player.’
Arsenal are considering the possibility of accepting a loan offer from Atletico Madrid for Torreira with an obligation to buy next summer and then immediately spending the fee they would receive in 12 months’ time to land Aouar now, though more sales may be required.