Arsenal target Houssem Aouar tells Lyon he wants transfer after swap deal bid rejected

Houssem Aouar has reportedly told Lyon he wants to leave the club after attracting strong interest from Arsenal. The Frenchman caught the eye for his club after helping them reach the Champions League semi-finals, placing a number of European giants on alert.

That includes Manchester City and Juventus, who are both monitoring the situation but are yet to make any formal approach.

Pep Guardiola has been tracking Aouar since he starred against Manchester City in the 2018/19 Champions League group stages.

“Houssem Aouar is a very good player. He is incredible,” Guardiola said after a 2-2 draw in France in November 2018.

Aouar could be set to start a new venture in the Premier League next season and may even line up against Manchester City.

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That’s because Arsenal seem determined to secure his signature, despite having an opening bid rejected.

They are said to have made a player-plus-cash offer for Aouar, which included Matteo Guendouzi, who was banished from the first-team squad last season.

Lyon are not interested in a swap deal though and have placed a £54million asking price on their star man.

But in a new twist, L’Equipe claim Aouar has decided he wants to leave Lyon in response to the interest.

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That may prove difficult though given Lyon’s strong stance over any potential sale.

The Ligue 1 club will not negotiate for the player and will only accept an offer in the region of £54m (€60m).

Lyon chief Juninho has admitted talks with Arsenal sporting director Edu about a deal for Aouar have already taken place.

“I get along very well with the sports director [Edu],” he told RMC Sport.

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“We spoke on the phone. Houssem Aouar is really appreciated by Arteta.

“There have been some discussions for Matteo Guendouzi who is also a good player.

“He was mentioned during the discussion, but this is not the profile we need, we were very clear. If it is like that, it does not interest us at all – it is, and we stopped.”

Arsenal are also in the hunt for Thomas Partey, however, they have also been told by Atletico Madrid that a swap deal will not be considered and they must pay his £45m release clause.

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