Arsenal suffer transfer nightmare over Houssem Aouar as Gunners remain keen on £54m ace

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is facing the prospect of going up against his old mentor Pep Guardiola for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, with Manchester City keen to steal the signing of the Frenchman. According to the Daily Mirror, City are ready to make a bid to sign Aouar, who was impressive for Lyon last season. 

Arsenal have Aouar in their sights as their next transfer target as Arteta continues his squad overhaul. 

The 22-year-old put in a brilliant display as Lyon knocked City out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage. 

He has emerged as one of the best young players in Europe, and has been linked with a host of clubs, with Arsenal leading the way. 

Reports suggest the Gunners made a proposal to swap Matteo Guendouzi for Aouar, but Lyon had no interest in making that deal. 

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Instead, the Ligue 1 side want £54million for their star man, with City now set to enter the bidding. 

Arteta is a big fan of the youngster, but Guardiola is as well, and is preparing to make his move to sign the player, who scored nine goals and provided ten assists in all competitions last year.  

Lyon sporting director Juninho admitted on Wednesday that he didn’t know if City had made an official approach to Aouar’s agent, saying: “We were not directly contacted. Maybe [general director] Vincent Ponsot was contacted by Manchester City, but I am not sure.”  

Arsenal are yet to spend big this summer, having paid just £23m for Gabriel Magalhaes and nothing for Willian, who joined on a free after leaving Chelsea. 

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City, however, have other targets in their sights, and are reportedly set to launch another bid for Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli.  

Meanwhile, ESPN pundit Ian Darke believes Arsenal should be going after Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey instead, with the Gunners reportedly desperate to sign the French powerhouse. 

Speaking to ESPN FC, he referenced the Gunners’ loan signing of Dani Ceballos as evidence that they don’t necessarily need to bring in a new creative playmaker.  

Darke insisted Partey would be a better acquisition due to his defensive style of play, whereas Aouar is more creative, like Ceballos.

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He said: “I think they need a little bit of steel in the middle of midfield, so I think Partey would be a very good signing for Arsenal. 

“I know they’re keen, but they can’t seem to get that deal done. 

“They’ve got Ceballos back from Real Madrid, and he did well in the back end of last season, but in a more creative way. 

“Both are good players, but of the two, I’d say Partey.”   

 

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