Houssem Aouar ‘resigned to Arsenal transfer’ after hoping for better offers

Arsenal are still pushing to sign Houssem Aouar – despite a “timid” recent offer to Lyon.

Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas insists the Gunners are still far apart from the French club regarding the 22-year-old playmaker, who has emerged as Mikel Arteta’s top midfield target.

But Aouar himself is said to be open to an Arsenal move – and that was not always the case.

According to L’Equipe, Aouar is keen to leave Lyon for a new challenge.

They say he initially was hoping for a move to a club such as Manchester City or Juventus to challenge for the Champions League.

Instead, he is now said to have “resigned himself” to joining Arsenal where he will test himself in the Premier League.

Lyon are reportedly in need of cash and looking to make €100m in sales over the course of the window.

They are still around €50m short of their target, although former Arsenal man Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Manchester United flop Memphis Depay could boost their earnings.

And that means they are not willing to let Aouar go cheap with reports they are demanding at least £44million for the playmaker.

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New signings Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes both hit the ground running against Fulham but Mikel Arteta is still on the lookout for new signings. Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and Brentford keeper David Raya are two of the names on their radar.

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An initial bid from Arsenal last week, believed to be around £33million, was rejected and Aulas insisted the clubs were far apart.

In his latest update today, the Lyon chief said: “There was a timid offer.

“We felt like either they didn’t consider the fact that this is a player in the French national team.

“So it was not an offer that was even susceptible to making us consider a sale.”

After being asked “How much are you looking for? €40m, €50m?”, Aulas replied: “It is certainly more than the first number that you mentioned.”

After drawing 1-1 with Lorient at the weekend, Aouar said: “The transfer window isn’t disturbing the team at all.

“It is more on the pitch that we have to improve & not hide behind things like that.”

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