Arsenal have reportedly already moved on to their alternative target with hopes dwindling on signing Houssem Aouar before the transfer window closes on Monday. The Gunners have already had a bid of £32million turned down by Lyon for Aouar earlier this week.
Lyon are clearly open to holding negotiations with the French club holding out for a bid in the region of £46m.
Club president Jean-Michel Aulas has also hinted that a fee could well be agreed at some point today.
But Arsenal are running out of time to meet Lyon’s demands with just days left of the transfer window.
Talks have reportedly slowed down in recent days though and the Gunners have begun looking at alternatives.
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Thomas Partey has long been linked with a move to the Emirates and Atletico Madrid’s interest in Lucas Torreira could boost their chances.
However, it’s been reported that Atletico are demanding Partey’s £45m release clause be paid up front and Arsenal aren’t prepared to do that.
Reports did emerge last month that Arsenal were looking at Jorginho.
And ESPN’s Julien Laurens now claims a move for the Chelsea midfielder is being more strongly considered with a deal for Aouar looking increasingly unlikely to happen.
Jose Mourinho may have stopped Arsenal signing Houssem Aouar
Arsenal in William Saliba loan talks as Arteta drops transfer hint
Mikel Arteta drops hint over Arsenal’s transfer plans
He states Arsenal are losing “optimism” about agreeing terms with Lyon to sign Aouar and suggests Jorginho is now their priority.
Speaking after the win over Liverpool on Thursday evening, Arteta hinted that foundations are in place for a player like Aouar to flourish.
“We can vary in regard to what the opponent does and with some of the players that can interchange positions sometimes to make it difficult,” he said.
“I will try to continue in our development to try to manage different structures through the game.”
While Arsenal are still working on bringing in at least one midfielder, it looks as though William Saliba could be heading out on loan again.
The defender is yet to make his Arsenal debut having spent last season out on loan at St Etienne.
And the Gunners are contemplating another year-long loan spell to get him up to the level Arteta wants.
“He had a year last year where Arsenal loaned him to Saint-Etienne and that was a transition year for him,” he said.
“For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, he had some personal issues and obviously with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year, so he needs that year of transition.
“Also, we are trying to make the right decisions for him to make the best possible year of transition for him to have the player we want for our future.”
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