Chief hints that Arsenal could sign midfield target for less than expected with strange comments

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Lyon owner and chief Jean-Michel Aulas seems to have offered Arsenal a boost in their pursuit for Houssem Aouar with some strange comments regarding the midfielder’s valuation.

Aulas confirmed to Canal+ (via Goal) that Arsenal have made a ‘timid’ offer for the central midfielder, with RMC Sport’s Mohamed Bouhafsi claiming they’ve already seen bids of €36m and €38m rejected.

MORE: Arsenal transfer news: Aouar in London for medical, shock Man United raid, crunch midfielder talks in Madrid

Arsenal will have to act quickly if they want to recruit the 22-year-old though, with Goal also reiterating Aulas’ deadline that any Lyon departures will have to be negotiated before Friday.

Bouhafsi claimed that Aouar’s price tag stood at €50m, but when Aulas was quizzed on whether the ace’s value was €40m or €50m, he hinted that it actually falls somewhere in between.

Aulas responded with “it is certainly more than the first number that you mentioned”, but ignored the €50m figure completely, hinting that Aouar could be signed for less than what was previously expected.

Houssem Aouar has been superb for Lyon over the last few years.

Here’s what Aulas had to say on the quality midfielder’s future:

“There was a timid offer. We felt like they didn’t consider the fact that this is a player in the French national team. So, it was an offer that did not even make us consider making a sale.”

With Canal+ interviewer pressing on whether Aouar’s valuation was €40m or €50m, Aulas responded with this weird comment:

“It is certainly more than the first number that you mentioned.”

Whilst some Arsenal supporters may have thought that negotiations were far too drawn-out, this stance may have lined up the Gunners to make a considerable saving, Aouar was first valued at €60m by L’Equipe.

In the space of a month, it now seems as though a fee of between €40m and €50m will be enough to land the midfielder. A patient approach may just have done the trick for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Aouar seems destined for a move to a respectably higher-profile club than Lyon after years of quality performances.

Aouar, who is of Algerian descent, was spectacular last season as Lyon upset the odds to reach the  Champions League semi-finals, the playmaker scored nine goals and provided 10 assists last term.

The 22-year-old missed the chance to win his first cap for France’s senior team after he had to withdrew from the squad in the recent international break after testing positive for Covid-19.

Aulas, who has a reputation for being outspoken, may have inadvertently weakened the side’s stance with these comments that came after Sunday’s draw against Orient.

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