Houssem Aoaur has opened up on his failed transfer to Arsenal, and has claimed he is more than happy to stay at Lyon. Arsenal were eager to sign the 21-year-old this summer but bought Thomas Partey instead.
Arsenal were keen on signing Aouar until the end of the transfer window.
The Gunners failed with multiple bids to sign the Lyon playmaker, as Mikel Arteta continued his hunt for a new centre-midfielder.
Lyon were adamant that only a bid in excess of £55.5million would see them part ways with their star asset.
Arsenal placed several offers, but none came close to the asking price, and it seemed the deal was dead two days before the deadline closed after Lyon announced they had ended all transfer negotiations for the summer.
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With the deadline fast approaching and no new midfielder through the doors of the Emirates, Arsenal pulled the trigger on a bid to buy Partey from Atletico Madrid.
Partey, 27, had been Arsenal’s top target for as many as two years, according to reports, but was viewed as the more expensive of the two.
However, with Lyon refusing to negotiate on Aouar’s price, Arsenal pulled the trigger and paid the £45m release clause in Partey’s contract and signed him to a five-year deal.
The transfer left Aouar without any alternative other than to stay at Lyon until January at least, with reports suggesting Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are looking at him for next year.
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The 22-year-old made his France debut on Tuesday, starting alongside fellow wonderkid Edouardo Camavinga in the midfield against Ukraine. Aouar had a solid game in the resounding 7-1 win.
On Thursday, he was asked about his failed move to Arsenal, and insisted he was more than happy to be staying at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
He said: “Of course I asked myself all the necessary questions.”
“I am in the headspace to have a great season with my club and get back the points that we have lost.
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“So of course we are going to try to do the best season and to try to put the team and the club back in its rightful place, at the top of France.
“Disappointed? I am the opposite.
“I am at home, in the club that I love, with my friends and my family.
“So certainly I have all my bearings and it is giving me even more motivation to have a good season and to bring the club back into the top places in France.”
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