Arsenal have received a small boost in their Houssem Aouar transfer pursuit, after Lyon changed their transfer strategy with just hours to go in the transfer market. The Ligue 1 side had insisted they wouldn’t sell either Aouar or Memphis Depay, but now appear part ways with the latter – according to reports in Italy.
Arsenal were seemingly ready to give up on Aouar for the summer.
The Lyon playmaker was their top target for most of the window, but the Gunners were finding it hard to negotiate a fee.
Aouar was said to be happy to join the Gunners, but wouldn’t hand in a transfer request or force a move.
Arsenal’s aspirations of signing Aouar were seemingly ended over the weekend when Lyon announced they would be ending all negotiations to sell players.
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Aouar and Depay had both been subject of interest from around Europe, with Barcelona determined to sign the latter.
And the Catalans are set to get their man, with Lyon sporting director Juninho admitting on Sunday night that the Dutch striker would likely sign for Barcelona today.
He said: “Memphis? He is in his last year of contract. He agreed with Barca.
“Maybe he will leave tomorrow, but nothing is certain.
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“He’s most likely to leave, but if he stays I hope he will help us win the matches.”
This change of stance will be welcome news to Arsenal fans, as they could now have a slim chance of getting Lyon to sell Aouar.
Arsenal had seen a bid of £32million rejected for the midfielder, and they were willing to offer Matteo Guendouzi in exchange.
Lyon had demanded £55m for their star man, but were reportedly ready to lower their demands slightly.
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If they aren’t able to change Lyon’s stance, Arsenal are expected to go after Chelsea player Jorginho.
The Italy international is reportedly one of the players the Blues are willing to listen to offers for.
After spending just shy of £250m on new recruits this summer, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard knows he’ll have to offload players in order to balance the books and trim his squad.
However, Chelsea apparently want to bring in a replacement before they let Jorginho go.
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