Lyon have confirmed that Houssem Aouar will remain at the club this summer in a huge blow to Arsenal’s transfer plans.
The club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas had declared that Friday was the cut-off point for Arsenal to strike a deal for the Frenchman, but gave the north London club a further 24 hours to meet their valuation.
Earlier this week, Aulas said Arsenal were struggling to get close to the €50m asking price with Lyon reported to have already rejected two offers.
Similarly, Barcelona had been hopeful of agreeing a possible deal for Memphis Depay, but Ronald Koeman will not be reunited with the winger at Camp Nou.
Both Aouar and Depay are expected to train this evening and will be named in Rudi Garcia’s squad, according to RMC, for their game against Marseille tomorrow.
Real Madrid and PSG have been credited with an interest in Aouar, but they are likely to compete for his signing next summer when his valuation is likely to increase should he star for France at the Euros.
‘I don’t know what information you have,’ Zidane said, speaking about his compatriot. ‘He is a great player, without a doubt, I know, and maybe one day he will be able to play for Madrid, but now there is this squad and we are going to start with this.’
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Arteta, meanwhile, will be left frustrated should Arsenal fail in their move to sign Aouar as he is keen to build a new-look midfield around the midfielder.
When asked about a potential move for Aouar, Arteta said: ‘Well, I am very confident in what we are trying to do internally. [I am getting] clarity and support from everybody at the club to try and improve the team if we can.
‘But most importantly as well, to get the right balance in the squad, for now and the way we want to evolve the squad in the future. We are all very much aligned but I’m afraid that I cannot give you any updates or news.
‘I think it is a crucial moment because in the end it defines the people, the players, the balance and the quality that you’re going to have for the rest of the season.’