Lyon change mind on Houssem Aouar asking price with Arsenal £4m away from transfer

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has reportedly dropped his asking price for Houssem Aouar, with Arsenal edging closer to a transfer agreement. The French chief is a notoriously tough negotiator but he now appears ready to comply with Arsenal, should they be willing to table an additional £4million.

Mikel Arteta is said to have spoken to the player in a bid to convince him to move to north London.

Aouar has already agreed to join the Gunners despite favouring a move to Juventus or Barcelona.

Arsenal have had an opening offer of £32million rejected for the player last week.

Aulas has since confirmed there was a bid from Arsenal, worth nowhere near enough to entice the club into a sale.

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He told Canal+: “There was a timid offer. We felt like they didn’t consider the fact that this is a player in the French national team. So, it was an offer that did not even make us consider making a sale.”

The 71-year-old was then asked how much Lyon want for the player, €40million (£36m) or €50million (£45m).

“It is certainly more than the first number that you mentioned,” he replied.

According to L’Equipe, Aulas is now prepared to drop his asking price to £36m and he is willing to sanction Aouar’s exit at that price.

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It means Arsenal would need to up their offer by just £4m to get the deal over the line.

Speaking this afternoon, Arteta hinted the club are working hard to complete the signing of the 22-year-old.

He said: “Well, I am very confident in what we are trying to do internally. [I am getting] clarity and support from everybody at the club to try and improve the team if we can.”

Aouar already has a wealth of experience and was a key figure as Lyon reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.

Arteta has decided to cool interest in Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey in favour of a move for the France international.

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Gunners legend Lee Dixon believes his former club are set to make more signings before the deadline and Aouar could be the perfect fit for Arteta’s midfield.

Dixon told talkSPORT: “I think he’s got his eye on a few more players. If he can get them over the line in the next week or so…

“I think a creative midfield player is key. When [Dani] Ceballos came on [against Liverpool] you could see the difference in that creative side of things.

“It’s so difficult to be under that sort of pressure for that amount of time against a brilliant pressing team, then to go and play your football because you’re absolutely exhausted. We’ve all played against a team that suffocates you.

“So they need a little bit of creativity in midfield in order to get them out of those situations when they’ve been under pressure.”

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