Arsenal have held talks with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar’s agents ahead of a potential move to the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta is eager to bolster his midfield ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Arsenal have brought Dani Ceballos back to the club for a second spell on loan but Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are up for grabs, with club chiefs eager to bring in cash to fund swoops for Aouar and Atletico Madrid ace Thomas Partey.
The Gunners are actively monitoring Aouar’s situation after the 22-year-old played a starring role in Lyon’s run to the Champions League semi-finals, which included their famous last-eight win over Manchester City.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have touched base with the Frenchman’s camp but talks with Lyon are not at an advanced stage.
While Partey would cost €50million (£44.5m) because Atletico are demanding his release clause is paid in full, Aouar would be a more expensive addition.
Aouar is one of the club’s most important players having made 137 appearances since his debut in 2017.
Lyon have made a successful habit of developing players before selling them on, although sporting director Juninho has hinted the club may need to cash in on Aouar following the coronavirus crisis.
He told Le10 Sport: “In the absence of arrivals, I rather think that there will be departures.
“Houssem Aouar? When you have great players in the squad, it is quite logical that other bigger teams and with greater economic power come to seek those players.
“There is a risk of losing important players. If we lose important players, I have already spoken with the president, we will have the right to balance the squad.”
Romano previously revealed Arsenal boss Arteta is a big fan of Aouar.
“For sure what I can guarantee is that the Arsenal board is in love with Aouar, Mikel Arteta is also in love with Aouar,” he told Lee Gunner in an interview on YouTube.