Euro Football

Arsenal told to increase offer for Houssem Aouar


Arsenal have been told to increase their offer for Houssem Aouar, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas saying the French side are still expecting the midfielder to play for the club this season.

Aouar is seen as one of the most exciting talents in European football and has been identified as a top target for Arsenal, who are desperate to bolster their midfield this summer.

Arsenal are believed to have lodged an initial bid of around £35 million for the 22-year-old, who is known for his creativity and technical ability.

Aulas has now said Arsenal’s offer is “too far from his value” and added that Lyon are “counting on Aouar” to lead the club into the Champions League.

According to French reports, Aouar has decided that he wants to join Arsenal this summer. Lyon are understood to value the player closer to £55m, with time running out in this transfer window for a compromise to be reached.

Aulas has never been afraid to comment on transfer speculation and last year expressed his frustration at Tottenham Hotspur over their pursuit of Tanguy Ndombele.

In the summer of 2017, Aulas publicly stated that Alexandre Lacazette would not leave the club despite Arsenal making an offer. Lacazette signed in north London a few weeks later.

Arsenal’s financial firepower depends on their ability to generate funds through sales. They are currently in negotiations with Atletico Madrid over the departure of Lucas Torreira, and are also hoping to sell both Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

As reported by Telegraph Sport this week, Arsenal are hoping to tie in Atletico’s interest in Torreira with their pursuit of midfielder Thomas Partey.

It is unlikely that Arsenal would be able to fund sizable transfer fees for both Partey and Aouar this summer, although as ever a staggered payment structure would allow them to be more flexible with their resources.

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