Mikel Arteta refuses to give up on Lyon’s creative star Houssem Aouar as he ‘tops Arsenal’s summer transfer wishlist along with a new centre back’
- Mikel Arteta is still keen to pursue Lyon’s attacking midfielder Houssem Aouar
- Arsenal chased Aouar, 22, in the last transfer window but failed to secure a deal
- Lyon chief Vincent Ponsot said Arsenal’s previous offer for Aouar was ‘too low’
- Arteta is also keen to bolster his defence by adding a right-sided centre back
- Several Arsenal defenders out of contract in the summer, including David Luiz
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has not given up hope of signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar as he reportedly plans a new bid for him next summer.
The Gunners heavily pursued Aouar in the last transfer window, believing he was the right fit to bring more creativity to midfield working alongside summer signing Thomas Partey.
Despite failing to get the deal over the line before the transfer window closed on 5 October, Aouar still remains firmly at the top of Arteta’s wishlist, according to The Athletic.
Midfielder Houssem Aouar remains at the top of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s transfer wishlist
Arsenal tried to sign Aouar in the last transfer window but their £45million bid was rejected
Aouar has caught the eye thanks to his impressive rise at Lyon. The 22-year-old was instrumental in the club’s journey to the Champion’s League semi-finals last season, beating both Manchester City and Juventus along the way before being knocked out by Bayern Munich.
Juventus are also said to be very keen on the Frenchman and may provide Arsenal with stiff competition for his signature.
Aouar has impressed Arsenal observers beyond Arteta, with club legend Ian Wright urging the Gunners to go after the midfielder again earlier this month.
But the club will have to stump up more than the £45million they initially bid for Aouar, as Lyon general manager Vincent Ponsot revealed that the deal collapsed because the price was too low.
Arteta thinks Aouar is the best fit to play next to Thomas Partey (centre) in Arsenal’s midfield
Ponsont said three big clubs were interested in Aouar. ‘The third club was Arsenal, who offered below the market value,’ he told L’Equipe.
‘We discussed it with the player’s entourage, and together we took the decision to say “no”.’
In addition to Aouar, Arteta is extremely keen on finding another right-sided centre back.
With three central defenders – David Luiz, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi out of contract in the summer, Arsenal could be left short if all three players leave the club.
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