Arsenal believe Houssem Aouar would be “perfect” for their midfield, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The 22-year-old has been linked with the Gunners since last year, with ESPN claiming back in September that the North Londoners were frontrunners for his signature at one point.
Arsenal are said to be in the market for a creative midfielder this month, and Romano says the Lyon star has always been the Gunners’ number one target in that position, despite their prior interest in Dominik Szoboszlai.
However, Romano acknowledges that a combination of Lyon sitting top of Ligue 1, a president known for playing hardball in the market, and a hefty player price tag combined with a small budget for Arsenal all mean it would be “really hard” to negotiate a move this month.
“(Arsenal) are still looking for this kind of player, they were also trying for Szoboszlai who then joined Leipzig, but they were trying really for Dominik Szoboszlai,” Romano told the Feather on Football podcast.
“And also Aouar has always been the first target for Arsenal. They love him and they are convinced he would be perfect in their midfield.
“The problem is that Lyon are asking for €60million (around £53.5million) they are having an amazing season, they want to be back in the Champions League, so at the moment with the president of Lyon it’s really hard to negotiate in January for this kind of player.”
Aouar’s talents, credential and potential are well known, and it’s little surprise that he remains linked with a big move away from Lyon.
But while it remains to be seen what happens in the summer, the chances of him moving this month are incredibly slim.
Jean-Michel Aulas is known for being a tough negotiator when it comes to his players, and particularly given they’re top of the table, why would he offload one of his stars mid-season?
And according to Duncan Castles, Arsenal only have a budget of €20million (around £18million) for this window, way off Aouar’s reported price tag.