Lyon have already started planning for life after Houssem Aouar in a huge boost to Arsenal’s transfer plans. Mikel Arteta has made signing Aouar a priority after making the Frenchman a top target this window.
The Gunners coach is said to be ‘obsessed’ with the midfielder during his time as Manchester City’s assistant manager.
A match between Lyon and City in the Champions League saw Aouar blow spectators away with an incredible display.
And Arteta craves the 22-year-old as he eyes adding more creativity to his midfield.
Talks have already been confirmed by Lyon sporting director Juninho, who revealed he rejected a swap big with Matteo Guendouzi.
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He said: “I get on very well with Edu, we spoke on the phone.
“Aouar is really appreciated by Mikel Arteta. Guendouzi was discussed during the call, he is a great player. But he is the wrong profile.
“We are not interested in that at all, we cut the conversation.”
But Lyon are preparing for life after Aouar, with a transfer target already in mind.
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According to TuttoMercatoWeb, AC Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta is top of Lyon’s wishlist.
The 23-year-old moved to the San Siro in January 2019 but has failed to make much of an impression.
In 44 matches, he has scored just once and made two assists.
Arsenal have already been active in the transfer window, signing Brazilian pair Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Dani Ceballos also renewed his loan spell from Real Madrid but perhaps the best bit of business is tying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new contract.
But Arteta insisted he was not confident the Gabon international would stay.
“When I joined, I wasn’t as positive as I was in recent weeks,” said Arteta.
“Obviously, financially we were in a position that it was difficult to get where we wanted to get. I think Auba had his doubts as well at the time, but things evolved in a natural way.
“I had the feeling that the club wanted to move forward, I had the feeling that Auba wanted to stay here and we were just trying to apply those things together and that sometimes takes time.
“But the outcome is what we both wanted, so we are happy.”
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