Houssem Aouar is holding out for a summer transfer to Arsenal, with the Lyon midfielder’s agent shocked by Mikel Arteta’s pursuit of Leicester City’s James Maddison, per The Sun.
Aouar wants to move to England during the current window to embark on the next stage of his career. He’s enjoyed five years in Ligue 1, but feels now is the time to challenge himself in the Premier League. The Lyon product turned captain scored eight goals last season.
Lyon are prepared to sell Aouar amid interest from Arsenal for just £25m as they look to strengthen their budget. Failing to qualify for the 2021/22 Champions League forced Les Gones to slash millions off their asking prices.
Arsenal would hand Aouar a £100,000-per-week contract to see the Lyon midfielder snub rival Premier League interest. Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are also monitoring the £64,000-per-week playmaker this summer, per Le10 Sport.
But Aouar wants to join Arsenal if he leaves Lyon, however Arteta has stunned the France international’s representatives. The Gunners’ pursuit of Maddison shocked the 23-year-old’s camp, with talks continuing for the Leicester maestro.
Reports by football.london claim Arteta has offered the Foxes players in part-exchange for the £60m Englishman during recent negotiations. So, it seems, Arsenal would rather sign Maddison than Aouar. And The Guardian add the Foxes playmaker is open to the move.
Arsenal, then, may have their pick of playmakers this summer in Lyon’s Aouar or Leicester’s Maddison if they agree terms. But with one costing far less than the other, Arteta faces a tough decision over which to sign. A proven Premier League talent, or the French maestro?
Arsenal can sign player Guardiola thinks is ‘incredible’ in Lyon midfielder Aouar
Arsenal opting to target Aouar over Maddison would see Arteta sign a Lyon midfielder Pep Guardiola speaks highly of. The Manchester City boss, and Arteta’s former mentor, lauded the Lyon-born midfielder after drawing 2-2 with his side in the Champions League in 2018.
Guardiola waited in the tunnel to speak with Aouar after facing Lyon. That’s according to The Sun, who quote the City boss as saying: “Aouar is a very good player. He is incredible. He’s always very calm with the ball at his feet, with an excellent technical quality.”
Aouar has only built on those traits for Lyon in the years since to catch Arsenal’s interest. Now, the Gunners have a contract ready, but are moving for Maddison first, it seems.