Houssem Aouar has reportedly agreed to join Arsenal this summer, meaning Gunners technical director Edu can now strike a deal with Lyon counterpart and 'good friend' Juninho.
Mikel Arteta is keen to get his hands on the 22-year-old, who played a crucial part in Lyon’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
According to French outlet Telefoot Chaine, Aouar has already secured personal terms with the Gunners ahead of his potential switch to north London.
All that’s left is for the two clubs to agree a transfer fee, which could prove straightforward given Edu’s relationship with Lyon sporting director Juninho.
According to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth, the pair are good friends despite Juninho turning down a player-plus-cash offer including Matteo Guendouzi earlier this summer.
“The player’s stock is very high just now given his performances in the Champions League,” he said on The Transfer Show.
“Are Lyon thinking that this is the best time to sell so they can cash in?
“You remember back in August, the Lyon sporting director Juninho – he’s good friends with Edu actually, both Brazilian – he claimed that Edu had put forward a proposal for Aouar that would see Matteo Guendouzi go to Lyon. Juninho said they weren’t interested in that kind of deal.
“What is clear is that Arsenal are interested in this player.”
It is believed Aouar would have favoured a move to Barcelona or Juventus over Arsenal, yet neither club have made a concrete offer for the midfielder.
As a result, the Gunners are now in the driving seat to prise him away from Lyon before the summer transfer window closes next week.
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They are understood to have submitted an initial £32million bid for Aouar, which falls below Lyon’s £54million asking price.
However, the French club are willing to soften their stance and accept an improved offer of £45million plus bonuses, according to Get French Football News.
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