In an exclusive interview with L’Equipe, Lyon general manager Vincent Ponsot has confirmed that Premier League side Arsenal made an approach to sign Houssem Aouar during the 2020 summer transfer window.
The France international registered nine goals and 10 assists from 41 appearances last term and he was hugely impressive in Les Gones’ run to the Champions League semi-final.
Aouar managed one goal and six assists from just eight European games and that grabbed the attention of some of Europe’s elite teams including Arsenal, who are managed by Mikel Arteta.
During the summer, it was well known that the north London giants were looking at the prospect of landing the playmaker, but ultimately, their £35m offer fell short of the reported £55m price tag.
Towards the end of the transfer window, Les Gones president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed that the Gunners were not anywhere close to landing Aouar and Ponsot has now provided an update.
The club’s general manager revealed that there were three clubs in the running to land the France international and the Gunners came up with an offer less than their valuation.
“We had three big clubs for him. The first one was more for next season. The second one was related to the departure of a player, and with this club, we could have come to an agreement,” He told.
“The third club was Arsenal, who offered below the market value. We discussed it with the player’s entourage, and together we took the decision to say no.”
The Gunners were eager to land a creative advanced midfielder in the squad, but they were unable to do so. Aouar may have missed out on the transfer, but he has already emphasised that he is happy with the decision.
Speaking to TF1 last month, the 22-year-old acknowledged that he was close to joining the Gunners, but he has no disappointment at missing out on the move to the Premier League.
It will be interesting to see whether the Gunners return for his services at the turn of the year. Aouar has registered two goals and one assist from seven outings for Lyon this season.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com