Arsenal have been admirers of Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this transfer window with the 22-year-old reportedly becoming their main target.
Confirmed by Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas via his twitter page Arsenal tabled an opening offer of that is believed to be in the region of €35m, but it was rejected. Arsenal knew the fee would not be accepted as negotiations had just begun.
“At Lyon there will be very few departures: for Houssem, Arsenal is much too far from his value,” Lyon’s president Aulas wrote on his Twitter page. “We count on him to make a big game in Lorient and lead Olympique Lyon in Champions League next year.”
Aulas has insisted he wants €60m for Aouar however, it is to be noted that Aulas is usually adamant and stubborn during negotiations but eventually surrenders his demands for a lesser fee. Arsenal fans will recall how he insisted Alex Lacazette would only be sold for €65m, Arsenal ended up getting him for €50m.
The Gunners at first proposed an informal verbal offer that included Matteo Guendouzi but Lyon declined it as they were not interested in any kind of swap deal.
Next week according to French journalist Julien Laurens Arsenal will table a significantly increased second offer that could be up to €50m including bonuses (€40m + €10m add-ons) which maybe be €10m shy of their valuation.
Arsenal have excellent negotiation tactics and we believe Lyon could be pressed to the wall and finally reach a compromise with Arsenal.