Houssem Aouar of Lyon remains Arsenal’s favoured target to strengthen their creativity in the middle of the park but a move to sign the Frenchman in January seems unlikely, according to Fabrizio Romano on the Feather on Football podcast via football.london.
The Gunners were close to signing the 22-year-old in the summer transfer window but were unable to find an agreement with Lyon. This season, the North London club have lacked a creative spark and as a result have struggled to find the back of the net. Their lacklustre attacking displays have seen them fail to mount a challenge for the top four so far this season.
Manager Mikel Arteta has handed Arsenal academy graduate Emile Smith-Rowe a regular run of games more recently in the Premier League and this has helped the Gunners go on a five-game unbeaten run in the league.
Despite his obvious talent, the 20-year-old is still young and does not have the best track record on the injury front. As a result, the North London side are prioritising the signing of a creative midfielder in the January transfer window.
They have been linked with the likes of Norwich City’s Emi Buendia, Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt and Real Madrid’s Isco. Reports have suggested that they have cooled their interest in Aouar but it is now being suggested that he is still very much on their radar. On the likelihood of Arsenal signing a creative midfielder, Romano said:
“They are still looking for this kind of player, they were also trying for Szoboszlai who then joined Leipzig, but they were trying really for Dominik Szoboszlai. And also Aouar has always been the first target for Arsenal. They love him and they are convinced he would be perfect in their midfield.”
“The problem is that Lyon are asking for €60 million (£53.3m) they are having an amazing season, they want to be back in the Champions League, so at the moment with the president of Lyon it’s really hard to negotiate in January for this kind of player.”
It is unlikely that the Gunners will be able to afford Aouar’s fee in the January transfer window barring some major developments. Perhaps they will revisit this transfer in the summer.