Transfer Talk: Arsenal plan improved bid for Lyon’s Aouar

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The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open and close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

Click here to check out all the latest major completed transfers across Europe.

TOP STORY: Arsenal to bid again for Lyon’s Aouar

Arsenal are preparing a new bid for Lyon star Houssem Aouar, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

The Gunners have made Aouar a priority this summer but have seen their initial bid of £31.2 million turned down by the French club. Now the north London side are in talks with the player’s agent ahead of an improved bid.

Lyon have made it clear that they’re unwilling to sell the player for less than £54.5m, or get involved in a swap deal after sporting director Juninho revealed that they rejected Arsenal’s proposal to include 21-year-old Matteo Guendouzi in any deal.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will need to trim his squad before he can dream of meeting Lyon’s asking price, and he has four or five players — including Emilio Martinez, Rob Holding and Lucas Torreira — that have been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium.

Real willing to pay half Bale’s wages to offload him

Real Madrid are seemingly so desperate to facilitate Gareth Bale’s exit that the Spanish giants are willing to pay half of his salary.

That’s according to the Telegraph, which reports that the Welshman’s huge wage remains a stumbling block to his departure to the extent that Los Blancos officials are now prepared to cover some of that salary to ensure he leaves.

Moreover, they’re also willing to accept just £22m for Bale in a bid to get him off their books, a decision that has alerted a number of Premier League clubs.

Bale was injured as he returned to the Spanish capital after the international break, which appears to be the final straw for Madrid who refuse to pay up the remaining £30.2m that constitutes the last two years of Bale’s contract.

Madrid are keen to cut their wage bill and, after having sold James Rodriguez to Everton, they’re now looking to reduce it further by enabling Bale to leave.

Suarez considers next move as Juve try and pounce

Luis Suarez‘s move to Juventus isn’t as cut and dried as it appears. This is according to Sport, which suggest the Uruguay international is taking extra time to ensure he gets this, potentially his final move, right.

Suarez is said to be still weighing up the move, but while reports in Italy say the deal is close to being done, Sport think otherwise.

The Spanish title believe Suarez is considering several other options as he decides where to finish his career, even suggesting he has “doubts” over a move to Turin.

As a result, Juve continue to assess their own options, with Alvaro Morata next on the list. Indeed, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has expressed his own interest in Suarez, if he was to lose Morata.

Tap-ins

– Leicester City are negotiating with Saint-Etienne over the transfer of defender Wesley Fofana, according to Talksport’s Alex Crook. The Foxes have been linked with the teenager for the majority of the summer and now the two clubs are trying to agree on a fee. The 19-year-old could cost up to £20m. Fofana’s development has been overseen by former Leicester boss Claude Puel, while his recent social media activity, in which he followed Leicester City on both his Instagram and Twitter accounts, has added further fuel to the rumours.

Gonzalo Higuain is closing in on a move to Inter Miami, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. David Beckham‘s franchise has already signed Blase Matuidi, and Higuain could be about to follow suit if the player’s agent, also his brother, can agree a salary with the MLS club. Moreover, Higuain is hoping to agree on a severance package from Juve that will enable him to move and the club to get his salary off the pay roll. Higuain’s brother Federico already plays in America for D.C. United.

Paris Saint-Germain are considering a deal for Arsenal’s aforementioned Guendouzi that would see German ace Julian Draxler move in the other direction, reports L’Equipe. PSG have long-courted Guendouzi ever since he left the club as a youngster to join Lorient in 2014. And now, he remains on their wanted list.

Aston Villa are set to make a third bid for Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez, according to the Daily Mail. The Gunners are believed to be holding out for £20m for the Argentine, and they’re expecting Villa to improve on their last bid, believed to be in the region of £15m. Martinez has rejected a new contract at the Emirates, which has boosted Villa’s hopes of luring the keeper to Birmingham.