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Aouar ‘absolutely wants to leave’, Paqueta to sign for Lyon

Houssem Aouar absolutely wants to leave Lyon and is resigned little by little to join Arsenal, according to French media outlet L’Equipe via Get French Football News.

The French midfielder was hoping to attract interest from the likes of Manchester City and Juventus this summer but those clubs have so far shown no interest in signing him. With less than a week to go until the transfer window shuts, Arsenal are the only club to have made a concrete offer for the Lyon academy graduate and he is open to moving to North London.

The Gunners are keen on rebuilding their midfield this summer and see the 22 year old as their top target along with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey. Arsenal had a £32 million bid rejected for the player last week and are believed to be close to making a new offer worth just under £35 million. This bid is also likely to be turned down by the French side.

Lyon were initially hoping to sell Aouar for £53.5 million but recognise that it is unlikely they will receive such a fee for their star midfielder’s services this summer. The French side are in need of funds and are willing to reduce their demands. As per Get French Football News, In an interview with Canal Plus on Sunday, club president Jean-Michel Aulas made it clear that he was looking for a fee well in excess of £36.5 million. It is understood that Lyon would be willing to sell Aouar for close to £45.5 million. 

Unless Arsenal submit a bid that is closer to Lyon’s valuation of the 22 year old, the French side will look to keep the player for the 2020/21 season. If Aouar were to have a strong campaign and earn a place in the French national team for next year’s European Championship, he would be a more valuable asset to sell next summer. He has three years remaining on his current contract with Lyon. 

It is worth noting that Lyon have reached an agreement to sign Lucas Paqueta on a permanent transfer from AC Milan, according to Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Sports Italy. The Brazilian is widely believed to be Aouar’s replacement at Lyon.

Arsenal have communicated to Aouar’s agent that they are continuing to negotiate with Lyon and will try to sign him, according to Fabrizio Romano.

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