Arsenal raises its asking price in the hope of landing a £30 million transfer coup for the 'dream' signing.
Arsenal may be busy in the transfer market this summer, but it looks that they have been offered the opportunity to execute a bargain deal for a long-term aim.
When the summer transfer market opens, Arsenal may never have a better chance to capture Houssem Aouar.
Before the start of the 2020/21 season, the Frenchman was extensively connected with a transfer to the Emirates Stadium, but the Gunners were finally priced out of a deal.
Lyon reportedly demanded £53 million to part ways with Aouar, but Arsenal couldn't afford to sign the playmaker after spending £45 million on Thomas Partey on deadline day.
After a few months, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas appears to have softened his attitude, according to L'Equipe, who claim a new asking price has been determined.
According to the report, a bid of £22 million to £25 million might persuade the Ligue 1 club's president to sell the 22-year-old this summer.
That is more than half of what Aulas had previously demanded, implying that Arsenal technical director Edu may pull off a recruitment coup by saving about £30 million compared to the asking price for Mikel Arteta's first-team squad last summer.
Lyon failed to qualify for the Champions League next season, owing in part to what Arsenal defender William Saliba did on the last day of the Ligue 1 season.
Last Sunday, the Frenchman scored the game-winning goal for Nice at the Groupama Stadium, as Lyon lost out on a top-four berth by two points.
After allowing Saliba to join Nice on loan during the January transfer window, some Arsenal supporters believe that decreasing Aouar's price tag was always Arteta's long-term strategy.
Arsenal have given no indication that they want to rekindle their interest in Aouar this summer, with Martin Odegaard and Norwich City's Emi Buendia considered as viable options.
However, according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners are still "convinced" that Aouar is the best guy to fix their creativity problems.
On the Feather on Football podcast, Romano stated, "[Houssem] Aouar has always been Arsenal's top objective." "They adore him and believe he would be ideal in their midfield."
"The issue is that Lyon is asking for €60 million (£53.3 million), they are having an incredible season, and they want to return to the Champions League, so it's incredibly difficult to bargain in January with the president of Lyon for this type of player."
Furthermore, Aouar intimated that the Lyon match against Nice may be his last in Lyon colours, giving the Gunners optimism of securing a 'perfect' summer move.
He commented prior of the game, "This may be (my last match at Lyon), but it might also not be." "I never ask myself these kinds of questions before a big game like this."
"I haven't been able to play as much as I would want." After COVID, it was difficult for me to return. A season with a lot of contrasts (for me). In terms of injury management, I've improved.
"I'm pleased with my statistics in the few matches I've played, so it's been a mixed season." I'm in great shape, and I'm ready to play for this match."