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.
JUST IN: Arsenal ‘love’ Juventus star and made transfer bid before Hector Bellerin swap deal offer
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.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta stopping transfer for forgotten man Unai Emery told to leave
Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gives public approval of Houssem Aouar transfer
Arsenal fans convinced Diego Simeone has dropped Thomas Partey transfer clue
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.
Premier League done deals: Every confirmed transfer in the summer window so far
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.”
Source: Read Full Article