Arsenal have reportedly seen a second bid for Houssem Aouar rejected by Lyon as the French outfit hold out for their €50 million asking price.
Aouar has emerged as one of Arsenal‘s primary targets this summer as Mikel Arteta continues his rebuild at the Emirates, though funds are limited amid the financial effects of the ongoing pandemic.
The north London club have already completed deals to sign Gabriel Magalhaes, Willian and Runar Runarsson this summer, but are keen to strengthen in midfield, with Aouar – along with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey – believed to be on the club’s radar.
The Gunners saw their opening offer of €36 million (£32.8m) for the French midfielder knocked back by Lyon, with club president Jean-Michel Aulas taking to Twitter on Saturday morning to say their offer fell well short of their valuation.
“There will be very few departures. For Houssem, Arsenal are too far from his value,” he wrote.
“We are counting on him to play a great game in Lorient and lead Lyon into the Champions League next year.”
According to French outlet RMC, the Gunners returned with a marginally improved offer of €38m (£34.7m), which has also been rejected, the Ligue 1 club having set an asking price of €50m (£45.6m).
The elegant midfielder would bring added creativity to Mikel Arteta’s side, the 22-year-old having scored 24 goals and provided 27 assists in his 139 outings for Les Gones, Aouar capable of playing as both a number 8 or number 10 as well sometimes being utilised from the left.
Arsenal are looking to offload a number of players to help fund the remainder of their summer business, the likes of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi all potential departees from the Emirates.