Man Utd signing Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona could be bad news for Arsenal
Manchester United signing Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona could end up being bad news for Arsenal in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar. Reports from Spain this week claim United are close to signing Dembele from Barcelona for a fee of £55million. The France international is an alternative option to Jadon Sancho, who the Red Devils saw a £91m bid turned down for on Tuesday.
Barca are reportedly open to letting Dembele leave the club and have been trying to raise funds throughout the summer through sales.
The permanent departure of Dembele would allow the La Liga giants to go back in for Lyon forward Memphis Depay, according to AS.
Ronald Koeman is keen to bring his fellow Dutchman to the Nou Camp, who could be available for as little as £11m.
But Depay leaving Lyon could have potential repercussions over the future of Aouar.
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Aouar is Arsenal’s top target and the Gunners have seen at least one bid turned down for the 22-year-old.
Like Barcelona, the Gunners’ budget is tight and they are attempting to sell the likes of Lucas Torreira and Sead Kolasinac to fund a move for further signings.
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Lyon initially wanted up to £54m this summer for Aouar and Arsenal are attempting to reduce that as much as they can – though their latest bid of around £37m was deemed too low.
But the transfer of Depay to Barcelona would mean Lyon are not in a desperate need for the funds.
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The French club have also reportedly accepted a £24.5m offer from Hertha Berlin for former Arsenal midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide to increase their coffers further.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has been vocal in recent days and has put a deadline of Friday on any departures from the club before next week’s transfer deadline.
Aulas spoke again following the signing of Lucas Paqueta from AC Milan on Wednesday evening.
He claimed there were three clubs keen on signing Aouar but none have met their asking price yet.
“We know that three big clubs are interested in him,” Aulas said.
“Two in the short-term, one in the long-term. Not much has happened.
“All the clubs can’t give us financially what Lyon wants.”
Aulas does not seem keen to lose Aouar in a cut-price deal, with the midfielder still having three years remaining on his contract.
And if United do end up signing Dembele, Arsenal’s task could be made even harder.
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