Reported Arsenal target Houssem Aouar will not play this Sunday after reportedly refusing to train, his manager has confirmed.
The 22-year-old is reported to have been one of Mikel Arteta’s top transfer targets this summer, with ESPN claiming Arsenal were frontrunners for his signature at one point.
However, the Gunners were unable to get their hands on Aouar before the transfer window shut, though they did manage to sign another of their main targets in Thomas Partey.
According to Football London, Arsenal remain interested in the France international, and Lyon are apparently aware of this too.
Aouar was an unused substitute in Lyon’s 1-0 victory over Angers on Sunday and, according to L’Equipe, he decided not to warm down with his teammates after the game.
It was also reported that staff had arranged a half-hour session post-match as an alternative to training on Monday, but the midfielder was not happy with the condition of the pitch.
Lyon boss Rudi Garcia has now confirmed that Aouar has been punished by the club and won’t feature against Reims this Sunday, also admitting he proposed the sanctions himself.
“It was logical to take sanctions,” Garcia is quoted by Eurosport as saying. “I proposed it myself.
“The club has made the decision to exclude him from the group for Sunday. This kind of case must be managed internally. I respect this decision.”
Many Arsenal fans were incredibly disappointed with the club’s failure to sign Aouar in the summer, but this development has given plenty of fans hope that an approach in January could be worth making.
Obviously it’s a bit premature at this stage to say he’s fallen out of favour at Lyon and is set to be offloaded – it could just be a blip before returning to the XI and putting it behind him – but it’s certainly a case of “watch this space”.