Arsenal: Mikel Arteta addresses Houssem Aouar transfer rumours
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Arsenal were unhappy at the way Lyon handled negotiations for Houssem Aouar 12 months ago, it has been claimed. The Gunners have reignited their interest in the France international as Mikel Arteta targets a replacement for Mesut Ozil. And whether they’re successful is something only time will tell.
Arsenal are big admirers of Aouar.
And with the club yet to replace Ozil following his move to Fenerbahce earlier in the year, the Gunners have revived their interest in the playmaker.
Arsenal were eyeing a deal for Aouar last summer, only to end up missing out after choosing to recruit Thomas Partey from La Liga giants Atletico Madrid instead.
Yet they’re ready to go back in for the Lyon star, who flourished as his side finished fourth in the Ligue 1 table.
And journalist Pete O’Rourke, speaking on The Football Terrace podcast, has claimed Arsenal were unhappy at the way negotiations for the France international were handled a year ago.
“He’s a talented player Aouar,” he said.
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“They did get messed around a bit by Lyon, which didn’t go down too well with the Arsenal hierarchy.
“But he’s a talented player, I think he’d be happy to make the move to the Premier League and talks have happened between the two clubs.
“Arsenal have made a cheeky bid of around €20million, which is never going to be enough for a player like Houssem Aouar.
“I think Lyon are holding out for closer to €30m or €35m for this deal to happen.”
Arsenal have previously raided Lyon for Alexandre Lacazette, paying a fee of £50m to land the France international in 2016.
And they’re hopeful Aouar will follow suit, especially amid claims the 23-year-old is keen to make the move to the Emirates Stadium.
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Arsenal know they need more creativity, especially following Martin Odegaard’s return to Real Madrid.
And they’ll certainly be onto a winner if they manage to prise Aouar away from his current club, with the playmaker scoring eight goals and registering four assists from 33 appearances last term.
The France international isn’t the only player in the Gunners’ sights as they seek an improved Premier League campaign next time out.
Ben White is close to joining from Brighton, although Arsenal still need to finalise a fee for the England defender.
And midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga should be announced as a Gunners player this week, with Arsenal confident he’ll sign on the dotted line.
Former Arsenal star Emmanuel Petit feels his old side need a player like Jack Grealish and Mason Mount if they’re to end their wait for a first league title since 2004.
“When you look at young players like Mason Mount and Jack Grealish, they’re fantastic because, apart from their quality, they show character and desire,” Petit told the Metro.
“They want to prove they are one of the best players in their position.
“This is exactly what I want to see at Arsenal, and I see that in Saka, and sometimes in Smith Rowe.
“But what I want from Arsenal in the transfer market is quality and, more importantly, leadership and personality.
“We want character at Arsenal, players who hate to lose, players who scream in the dressing room when they lose, players who are ready to fight with team-mates when they lose.
“This is exactly what is missing at Arsenal.”
Petit said Arsenal need at least five new additions – starting with a prolific marksman.
“If Arsenal want to be competitive again, they need at least five players with both talent and character,” he added.
“The first thing they need is a proper goalscorer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a proper goalscorer but he had a terrible time this season.
“They need wingers too. Arsenal always used to have very good wingers, who could go one-on-one out wide, who could bring speed to the attack, but there are so many positions at Arsenal where they need top players.”
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