Arsenal’s pursuit of Houssem Aouar looks to have been handed a blow with reports in France saying Lyon will not be selling their midfield creator this summer.
The Frenchman – along with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey – has been identified as a prime target to help bolster the Arsenal midfield this summer, the club looking to have made huge strides under Mikel Arteta.
Despite Arteta’s ambitions, the club’s ability to spend has been somewhat hamstrung by their tight financial budget, the north London side having received criticism for their decision to make 55 staff members redundant in the wake of the pandemic and its subsequent economic downturn.
The Gunners are looking to move a number of fringe players on to help bolster their finances, and have already seen a bid for Aouar of around £35million rejected by Lyon, who had publically set Friday as their artificial deadline for any departures.
According to French outlets, L’Equipe and RMC Sport [via GFFN], Lyon are adamant that there will now be no departures from the Ligue 1 side, even though the international transfer window remains open until Monday.
Of course, Arsenal could still test their resolve with an improved bid, though L’Equipe report that the ‘post-COVID transfer market does not really meet its expectations’ in terms of the kind of value they would expect for their top talents, who now intend to ‘turn the page on the saga’.
The news also means that Memphis Depay’s proposed move to Barcelona is also set to be denied, the former Man Utd forward having become a target for new Barca boss Ronald Koeman, the pair having worked together during their time together in the Netherlands national team.
Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has passed a medical at Atletico Madrid ahead of a season-long loan, the La Liga side retaining the option to make it permanent next summer.