Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar is still the man Mikel Arteta wants to bring in this summer to transform his midfield at Arsenal, according to reports.
Arsenal boss Arteta is keen to sign Aouar to provide extra creativity in midfield with the Frenchman becoming one of Lyon’s star players in recent seasons.
An initial £31.2m bid was reportedly turned down by the French club, who have made it clear that they’re unwilling to sell the player for less than £54.5m.
It’s unclear which Arsenal player was offered as part of the deal, although it’s been reported that Matteo Guendouzi or Lucas Torreira could be involved.
ESPN claims that Aouar is still the Gunners’ ‘No.1 target’ this summer with Arteta ‘eager to build his side around’ the 22-year-old.
The Spanish boss sees the Lyon midfielder ‘as a pillar of the 4-3-3 formation he eventually wants to employ’ as he goes about trying to change Arsenal’s fortunes on the pitch.
The report adds that Arsenal ‘remain front-runners’ but that the north Londoners ‘do not have the €60 million required to land him’ unless they can sell numerous players.
Despite rumours he could join Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal are ‘the only club so far to show a strong interest in Aouar’.