Soccer

Arsenal chief Edu contacts Houssem Aouar’s agent ‘many times’ as transfer talks continue

Arsenal techincal director Edu has spoken with Houssem Aouar’s agents “several” times as the Gunners look to agree a deal for the Lyon star. However, despite lengthy discussions, personal terms have reportedly still not been agreed with the French international.

Aouar has become Mikel Arteta’s priority signing for the remaining weeks of the transfer window, as the Arsenal boss continues to shape his playing squad ahead of his first full season in charge.

Reports have suggested that Gunner midfielder Matteo Guendouzi was offered in a part-exchange for the player earlier this summer.

That was rejected with Lyon suggesting Guendouzi doesn’t fit the right “profile” for the player they wish to sign.

Arsenal are set to launch a fresh bid of over €40million (£36m), with French outlet Telefoot Chaine claiming a second bid is “imminent”.

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Earlier in the window it was reported Lyon were asking for around £54m for Aouar – considerably more than Arsenal are set to offer.

In Arteta’s first summer window in charge, he has signed two players for the senior squad, with Gabriel Magalhaes signing from Lille and Willian signing on a free transfer.

And after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put pen to paper on a new three-year deal, Arteta can now focus all of his attentions on Aouar.

The central midfielder has spent the entirety of his career with Lyon, netting 16 goals in 99 Ligue 1 appearances.

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However, despite the extensive links between Arsenal and Aouar, Lyon sporting director Juninho suggested they have yet to receive an offer for the player.

“For now, there is nothing for these players,” Juninho told Telefoot Chaine earlier this week.

“We have not received anything for Houssem, we have not received anything for Memphis.”

And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano backs up those claims, with his latest update on Arsenal’s pursuit. When asked if personal terms had been agreed, he replied: “No, not agreed yet. But Aouar would like to join and Arsenal spoke with his agents many times.”

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Meanwhile, Arsenal are closing in on Emiliano Martinez’s replacement after the Argentinian joined Aston Villa.

Martinez made the £20m switch to the Midlands, citing his need for regular minutes as a deciding factor.

Just 24 hours after that deal was announced, Alex Runar Runarsson is set for a medical at the Emirates ahead of a £1.5m transfer.

The Icelandic international goalkeeper will replace Martinez as Bernd Leno’s deputy after a fee was agreed with French top-flight side Dijon.

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