Arsenal are unlikely to make a move for Houssem Aouar in the January transfer window but could certainly return for the Lyon midfielder next summer, it has been claimed. Mikel Arteta’s side had a bid of around £35million rejected for the player last month.
The north London outfit considered the prospect of making Aouar their seventh signing of the summer.
But Arsenal could not broker a deal with tough-negotiating Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas for the France international in the final week of the window.
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Ligue 1 club Lyon wanted nearer to £55m for Aouar, whose stock is only rising after earning his first cap for his country last week against Ukraine.
And Arsenal instead moved on to Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey at the end of the window, activating his £45million release clause on deadline day.
Arteta’s side, however, still lacks a more creative midfielder, particularly with Mesut Ozil in exile and set to depart at the end of his contract in 2021.
That could lead them back to Aouar in the next few windows as they seek to build a side capable of challenging for domestic and European silverware.
But Goal’s Charles Watts, speaking in a YouTube Q&A with Arsenal fans, believes Arteta and co are unlikely to make a move for Aouar in January.
Given the money they would need to commit to a deal, the Londoners are unlikely to revisit their interest until the summer of 2021.
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The finances it would take to bring Aouar to Arsenal are unavailable to Arteta without a raft of outgoings or a return to the Champions League.
Lyon are also unlikely to be willing to lose the 22-year-old midway through their campaign.
Aouar has offered one goal in four games this term, even captaining the team against Montpellier although he was sent off in a 2-1 defeat.
His contributions this season come after he produced nine goals and 10 assists in 41 appearances last year.
But Watts notes that Arsenal’s long-standing interest in Aouar is similar to that of their pursuit of Partey.
The Ghanaian, who cost £45million, was admired by Arsenal scouts since 2014 after famed former scout Francis Cagigao noticed his talents.
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Unai Emery wanted to sign the dominant holding midfielder in the summer of 2019 but eventually decided to concentrate his funds on a club-record £72m deal for winger Nicolas Pepe instead.
Yet Arsenal finally launched a concerted bid for him on deadline day this summer and paid up his release clause to finally bring him to the Emirates.
Similarly, Aouar is a player the club’s recruitment team have liked for a long time and one they could go back in for in 2021.
However, Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are all said to have interested in the Frenchman too, which could complicate matters.
Arsenal are unlikely to have a free run at Aouar as they did this year and as of yet it is unclear who they have listed as alternatives.
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