Arsenal blow: Lyon announce Houssem Aouar stay


Olympique Lyonnais have this afternoon made it known that Arsenal target Houssem Aouar will not be departing the club before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Lyon standout

Speculation surrounding the future of gifted midfielder Aouar has of course been rampant this summer.

The 22-year-old enjoyed another stellar campaign at the Groupama Stadium in 2019/20, playing a key role as Lyon bounced back from a disappointing Ligue 1 finish to shock the masses en route to the Champions League’s semi-finals.

Aouar proved the touch of class required in the middle of the park for Rudi Garcia’s men, linking defence to attack with guile and a cutting edge.

All told, across 41 appearances in all competitions, the Frenchman racked up an impressive 9 goals and 10 assists.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: Houssem Aouar of Lyon runs with the ball during the Group F match of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais at Etihad Stadium on September 19, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Gunners blow

As such, it had since come as little surprise to see some of European football’s heavyweights tipped to swoop for Aouar.

Previously, the clubs most persistently linked had been Manchester City and Juventus.

Recent months, however, saw a new suitor take centre stage in the race for Aouar’s services.

The outfit in question? Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta is known to be on the lookout for reinforcements at the heart of his side’s midfield, as speculation continues to swirl around both Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi (the former of whom is expected to join Atletico Madrid imminently).

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: Lucas Torreira of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Chief among the Arsenal boss’ targets, meanwhile, have long been Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, and the aforementioned Aouar.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano previously even went as far as to claim that Arteta is ‘in love’ with the Lyon man.

As outlined above, however, if the latest word stemming from the French media on Saturday is to be believed, then Arsenal’s hopes of landing Aouar before Monday’s fast-approaching transfer deadline appear to have gone up in smoke.

As confirmed by a number of outlets, claiming to have been contacted by Lyon themselves, the sales of both Aouar and Memphis Depay have been definitively ruled out:

In a direct statement to Le Progres, meanwhile, a Lyon spokesperson has since added:

‘The deadline has passed – neither Memphis nor Houssem are going to leave. They will train today & be in the squad tomorrow.’

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