Arsenal’s summer pursuit of Lyon’s Houssem Aouar was always likely to hinge on something that the Gunners couldn’t control.
And now that something looks as though it could be coming to fruition.
It is clear to see that the Gunners have made pleasing progress under current boss Mikel Arteta, with the FA Cup added in early August and garnished by the Community Shield four weeks later to further symbolise that the club are going places.
The new contract for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, too, was a real symbol of the commitment to the cause that the Spaniard has instilled at the club, even if they seemingly borrowed a phrase from their neighbours and went a bit ‘all or nothing’ on both the offer and the announcement of the Gabonese goal-getter’s deal.
The firming up of loan moves into permanent ones, additions of wily Premier League campaigners and deals for promising centre-backs have also created a happy atmosphere in north London, and that was only added to with back-to-back league wins at the start of the season.
But the trouble with the modern obsession with transfers is that there are always those who think you could do more, and fans are hungry to see a new midfielder added to the Gunners squad this summer to build on the obvious progress being made.
Two names have consistently been to the fore throughout this transfer conversation, and – a little like some Liverpool fans who would accept nothing less than Thiago Alcantara this summer – it has now reached the point where only one of those two will do.
Aouar and Thomas Partey have become the names that Arsenal fans look out for every day, but so far there has been little to no movement around a deal for either.
Now one could be slipping away.
As first reported by The Telegraph, Lyon midfielder Aouar – who has been valued at around £54million by his club this summer – has become aware of an offer being prepared for his services by a club who are in the Champions League this season.
He is now waiting to see if and when this offer comes to fruition before making a decision on his future before the October 5 transfer deadline.
And you can understand his haste, in truth.
The 22-year-old starred in the Lyon side which reached the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League, and will want to test himself on Europe’s biggest stage again in the current campaign.
The same can be said of Partey, whose Atletico side reached the quarter-finals after their memorable last-16 win over Liverpool at Anfield.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have been starved of title glory for a while now – but things could be changing as a new-look Arsenal side plot a course to success.
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