Aulas: Aouar staying, Arsenal bid not enough

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Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has said Arsenal‘s bid for Houssem Aouar is “too far away” from the player’s value and he won’t be leaving the club this transfer window.

Sources have told ESPN that Arsenal have offered €35 million for the 22-year-old but that was far from the €60m valuation the club had put on him.

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“There will be very few departures,” Aulas tweeted.

“Arsenal are too far away from Houssem’s value. We are counting on him to perform against Lorient and guide Lyon into the Champions League next season.”

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic means that Lyon could lower their valuation of the player to €40m or €45m and sources have told ESPN that Arsenal will approach the club with an improved bid.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has made Aouar his priority signing for this transfer window and sporting director Edu has been discussing a deal with his Lyon counterpart Juninho for the past few weeks.

Sources have told ESPN that the France under-21 international is still close with former Lyon teammate Alexandre Lacazette and is keen on joining the north London side.

Aouar’s first France call-up from Didier Deschamps came at the end of the 2019-20 season. However, he tested positive for coronavirus before the squad met and he could not travel to the camp.