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Houssem Aouar is Arsenal’s No. 1 Target for the Remainder of the Transfer Window : Gunners

Houssem Aouar remains Arsenal’s No.1 target for the rest of the transfer window, with first-team manager Mikel Arteta eager to build his side around the Lyon midfielder, sources told ESPN.

Arteta views France Under-21 international Aouar as a pillar of the 4-3-3 formation he eventually wants to employ. Sources said Arsenal remain front-runners for Aouar’s signature, but they do not have the €60 million required to land him and would have to fund that through sales. Alexandre Lacazette is expected to seek clarification over his role in the Arsenal team amid growing speculation the club will allow him to leave for around £40m this summer, sources told ESPN.

Arsenal are the only club so far to show a strong interest in Aouar, with Manchester City and Juventus focusing on other areas of their respective squad rebuilds. Arsenal technical director Edu is good friends with Juninho, his counterpart at Lyon, and the pair speak regularly.

Matteo Guendouzi came up as a prospective makeweight in a deal when the pair discussed Aouar earlier this summer, sources told ESPN, but Lyon dismissed the option as the Arsenal midfielder is not the type of player the Ligue 1 side want.

Aouar, 22, is eager to leave Lyon and sources told ESPN the next two weeks will be decisive to his future. — Julien Laurens

Personally, while I love the prospect of Partey, if Arteta is as enamoured by the profile of Aouar as he is rumoured to be, it would be criminal not to get a player of his talent and age in the side in the area of the pitch we need it most. If we were sticking to a 3 at the back with a two man midfield, then I would argue Partey is more necessary. But if Arteta wants the 433, it’s got to be Aouar we bring in.

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