KEY POINTS

  • Arsenal FC's chances of landing Houssem Aouar are not looking good
  • Lyon is unhappy with the Gunners' offer for the star midfielder
  • Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas expects Aouar to stay this season

Houssem Aouar of Olympique Lyonnais is on the radar of Arsenal FC, but it appears the Gunners’ plans for him have hit a snag. Arsenal sent an opening bid for the 22-year-old midfielder, but the amount was too low for Lyon, club president Jean-Michel Aulas suggested.

Aulas confirmed on his Twitter Saturday that the club rejected Arsenal's offer when he addressed speculation regarding Aouar's transfer once more. This means that the French player will continue to suit up for Lyon, which faces Lorient in Ligue 1 action on Sunday.

"There will be very few departures. For Houssem, Arsenal are too far from his value," Aulas tweeted, responding to a report from L'Equipe that Aouar has agreed personal terms with Arsenal. "We are counting on him to play a great game in Lorient and lead Lyon into the Champions League next year."

The Guardian reported that the Gunners' second bid was believed to be in the region of £35 million ($44 million), lower than Lyon's £44 million ($56 million) valuation for the star midfielder. 

With the transfer deadline set for Oct. 5, it remains to be seen if Arsenal will try to improve its bid for the 22-year-old player. However, it should be noted that other teams have been linked to Aouar, including Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea FC.

The interest in Aouar is understandable. Since graduating from the senior squad at Groupama Stadium in 2017, he has made 139 appearances for the Lyons, scoring 24 goals and issuing 27 assists. He is under contract until 2023, but the subpar performance of Les Gones could give him a reason to play elsewhere. So far, they have managed to win only one of their four matches, Goal reported.

Aouar is seen as a good fit for the system of Mikel Arteta. He owns good ball-handling and can also play defense. He would also join Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos as players who could be the starting midfielders for the Gunners 3-4-3 formation.

Also, it may hint at what lies ahead for players who have not met Arteta’s level of play. That includes possibly seeing players like Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Mohamed Elneny being let go, NBC Sports reported.

Houssem Aouar in action against Bayern Munich. He is one of those players who could well now be sold by a Lyon side deprived of Champions League football in the new season Houssem Aouar in action against Bayern Munich. He is one of those players who could well now be sold by a Lyon side deprived of Champions League football in the new season Photo: POOL / Miguel A. Lopes