Arsenal appear to be running out of time in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar, if Jean-Michel Aulas’ latest comments are anything to go by.
According to an ESPN report from mid-September, Aouar remains Mikel Arteta’s top target for the remainder of the transfer window.
Indeed, the outlet claimed that the Gunners were frontrunners for Aouar’s signature, though player sales would be required for them to meet his €60million (around £54million) price tag.
The Arsenal boss is reportedly eager to build his team around the 22-year-old, who emerged as a star for Lyon last season.
However, the Gunners don’t seem to have made a breakthrough yet in terms of meeting the Ligue 1 club’s valuation of the player.
Speaking to Canal Plus on Sunday after his club’s 1-1 draw with Lorient – aired and transcribed by Get French Football News on Monday night – Aulas provided an update on the situation.
“There was a timid offer,” he said, when asked about Arsenal’s pursuit of Aouar.
“We felt like either they didn’t consider the fact that this is a player in the French national team. So it was not an offer that was even susceptible to making us consider a sale.”
And on Monday night, Aulas told Telefoot that any suitors interested in his players only have until Friday to make breakthroughs.
“We will tell the players that whatever will not be settled in terms of departures before Friday, there will be no more departures,” he said, as transcribed by Goal.com.
“So for us the (closing) date of the transfer window will be Friday. I think I will propose it tomorrow (Tuesday) to Rudi Garcia and Juninho, because it’s understandable.
“And all people of goodwill can see that there is something wrong (with Lyon’s results). It can be because of that, but it can also be a lot of other things. In any case, from Friday, the players who have not left will not leave.”
When it comes to transfer dealings, Lyon are a tricky club to deal with, and it’s certainly proving the case with Aouar.
Not only are Arsenal seemingly short of Aulas’ valuation, but with the president stating there’ll be no further business past Friday, the pressure on the Gunners has just been cranked up massively.