Arsenal handed £13m incentive after Mikel Arteta refused to give up on transfer pursuit

Arsenal have previously been linked with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar but could never nail down a deal for the Frenchman.

The 23-year-old’s stock has been on the rise and he’s broadcasted his qualities on the Champions League stage previously. Lyon were seeking north of £40m for the player – which priced him out for several clubs. The Gunners have retained an interest and could now land him for a cut-price fee.

Aouar could leave Lyon for as little as £13m, according to RMC Sport. The Frenchman has remained a regular for the Ligue 1 outfit however he has refused to sign a new deal at Lyon and will be available to leave for nothing next summer. Arsenal recently saw Mohamed Elneny pen a new deal at the Emirates.

However their options in the middle of the park still require strengthening. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have been Mikel Arteta’s go to pair at the base of midfield, although the Swiss star has been heavily linked with the exit door on more than one occasion.

Aouar would be a welcome arrival at the Emirates and would be within the club’s budget. Arsenal also made an effort to sign younger players to bring down the average age of the squad, should that still be their strategy then Aouar would fit the profile of signing they want to add.

The Gunners do not have the attraction of Champions League football, but neither do Lyon after an eighth place finish in Ligue 1. Arsenal though may face competition from sides around Europe who will be playing at the highest level next term.

Arsenal have been keen to sign Houssem Aouar for several seasons

Arsenal have been keen to sign Houssem Aouar for several summers

Aour did previously underline his commitment to Lyon when he was chased last summer. He said: “As someone who’s from Lyon, to be able to play in the Champions League in this stadium is something I’d like to be able to do again – all of that is down to qualifying this season.

“Then I’d like to win a trophy, because that’s what’s missing the most for me at this club. I’m fully concentrated on Lyon. Playing in the Champions League again with my hometown club is an objective and a dream of mine.”

Arteta has said on his transfer plans: “We are going to have certain resources, not unlimited resources, some resources and with our resources we have to play and do what we have to do in the best possible way. We don’t know what the rest are going to have in terms of resources, which I’m assuming is going to be challenging because now it’s not a top three or top four league. Now it is a top eight or 10 teams that are involved. That’s why we have to find a way to do again what we did last summer.”

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