Arsenal are reluctant to meet Aouar asking price, claims Lyon president

Houssem Aouar

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has claimed that Arsenal are reluctant to meet the club's valuation of Houssem Aouar.

Aouar has emerged as one of the hottest properties in European football after another stellar year at the Groupama Stadium.

The 22-year-old played a key role in Lyon's run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, and is now being tipped to take the next step in his fledgeling career.

Arsenal has been mooted as the most likely next destination for Aouar, and Lyon sporting director Juninho has confirmed the Premier League club's interest in the France international.

“Houssem Aouar is really well liked by [Mikel] Arteta,” Juninho said earlier this month.

Although Arteta has remained coy on speculation linking the midfielder with a switch to Emirates Stadium, the Spanish head coach has admitted he is still looking to bring in extra reinforcements before the transfer window slams shut.

Willian, Gabriel Magalhaes and Dani Ceballos (loan) have all joined Arsenal this summer, but it has been suggested that more signings will be needed for the club to break back into the Premier League's top four.

Lyon are reportedly holding out for a fee within the region of £44 million ($57m) for Aouar, which Aulas says the Gunners are unlikely to match in the coming weeks.

Asked if he believes a prized asset will complete a move to north London this summer, the Lyon chief told former Goal correspondent Chris Wheatley: "No I don't think so, no offer yet.

"It seems that Arsenal don't want to, or can't invest the price for Houssem, who is our best player."

Aouar has featured in two of Lyon's four fixtures at the start of the new Ligue 1 season, but sat out their 0-0 draw at home to Nimes on Friday due to suspension.

The Frenchman will be eligible to feature once again when Rudi Garcia's side take in a trip to Lorient next Sunday, before preparations begin for a huge clash against Marseille at the start of October.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are due back in Premier League action on Saturday night, with West Ham set to arrive at the Emirates.

Arteta's men secured a 3-0 win over newly-promoted Fulham to open their 2020-21 campaign, and will be expected to put the Hammers to the sword in another London derby this weekend.