Arsenal bid for Aouar is rejected
Gunners reportedly wanted to use Matteo Guendouzi as a makeweight to sign Lyon ace
10 September, 2020 — By Steve Barnett
ARSENAL have failed in their bid to use out-of-favour Matteo Guendouzi as a makeweight to sign Lyon ace Houssem Aouar.
According to various reports the Gunners have been offering up the midfielder in a host of potential deals for new players.
The latest was a proposal to send him to Lyon, with the French club’s sporting director Juninho revealing he has held talks with the north Londoners over a possible move that would see their star midfielder Aouar move in the opposite direction.
He claims Arsenal offered Guendouzi in a player-plus-cash package to land Aouar, who Juninho said is “really appreciated” by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
Aouar is regarded as one of the most exciting young players in France, and was a standout player for Lyon last season in their run to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
That’s a sharp contrast to Guendouzi, who has been frozen out by Arteta due to behavioural issues, the most notable of which was when the 21-year-old taunted Brighton players over salaries during Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium in June.
Perhaps with that in mind, Juninho says Guendouzi is the “wrong profile” for Lyon, and Arsenal’s proposal was swiftly rejected.
“I get on very well with [Arsenal technical director] Edu, we spoke on the phone,” he told French outlet RMC Sport.
“Guendouzi was discussed during the call, he is a great player, but he is the wrong profile.
“We are not interested in that at all, we cut the conversation.”
Lyon have set a £45million asking price for Aouar and would prefer a cash-only deal. For that Arsenal would have to sell players first, and quickly, with Manchester City and Juventus also potentially interested.
Arsenal could be about to get a much-needed cash boost with Fiorentina believed to be ready to make an improved offer for Lucas Torreira.
The deal could see the Italian club offer in the region of £10m to take the midfielder on loan until the end of the season, with an obligation to buy him for another £17m next season.
The Gunners will be hoping Torreira could spark an Italian bidding war, with fellow Serie A club Torino willing to pay a reported £22m now – without any loan.
Another potential sale could see Hector Bellerin move back to Barcelona.
The right-back came through the Barca academy but joined Arsenal when he was 16.
The Spanish giants are reportedly ready to spend around £20m to take him back home.