Arsenal close on agreement with Houssem Aouar as Lyon reduces their asking price

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The coronavirus has no doubt taken its tolls on the finances of football clubs and Olympique Lyon is not exempted. The pandemic has forced the Ligue 1 club to reduced its asking price for Houssem Aouar, who is wanted by Arsenal.

The Mirror reports that the Ligue 1 club will reject Arsenal’s £32million bid but expect Mikel Arteta’s side to return with a new and improved offer. The club had wanted £55m for the central midfielder but has now reduced that figure to between £36-41m. This is not far away from Arsenal’s opening offer.

Houssem Aouar already agreed terms with Arsenal

Arsenal need to sell before buying

Meanwhile, Arsenal will have to sell before bringing in another player. The Gunners are therefore desperately trying to offload midfielder, Lucas Torreira in order to raise the funds required to sign Aouar.

The Frenchman is keen on a move to the Emirates this summer and will agree to a transfer if the two clubs can thrash out terms.

The 22-year-old was impressive in the Champions League last season that sees Lyon being knocked out of the competition by eventual winners, Bayern Munich 3-0 in the semi-finals.

He also played a massive role in sending Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City packing in the last-eight. This has made Arteta identified him as a priority transfer target early in the summer.

Arsenal transfer team have been doing their best to make a deal happen. Sporting director Edu has been holding talks with his Lyon counterpart Juninho for the past few weeks before submitting an official offer for the midfielder. With another official bid expected soon, it looks like Arteta will get his man and Aouar is on the verge of a move to the Premier League.

Juve give up on on Aouar

The latest development has seen Juventus give up on Aouar. The Italian giant had long been linked with the midfielder and was thought to be preparing a bid for him earlier in the summer.

According to Telefoot, Barcelona was his preferred destination but the La Liga club never made a serious offer for his services.

Houssem Aouar in Ligue 1 action for Lyon against Bordeux

This gives Arsenal the opportunity to steal a march, with the Gunners bidding around €40m for the Frenchman.

Footmercato believes that would be enough to take the 22-year-old to Emirates Stadium, while personal terms are said to have already been agreed between club and player.