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Arsenal are readying an impossible-to-resist approach for Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar, according to reports in France.
France Football claims Gunners boss Unai Emery is a huge fan of the young midfielder and has earmaked him as the perfect replacement for Aaron Ramsey, who looks poised to leave Arsenal as a free agent at the end of the season.
However, with talk suggesting Arsenal could look to sell Ramsey to the highest bidder in January – as opposed seeing him leave for free – the reports have indicated Emery could look to tie up a deal for Aouar next month too.
Lyon, of course, have no wish to sell the player, having only tied him to a new deal over the summer, and will instead try and strike a gentleman’s agreement between the player and Arsenal that will grant him permission to make the huge move at the end of the season.
Much of Lyon’s stance centres around their Champions League hopes, with the club only needing a draw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday to guarantee progress to the knockout stages. Aouar has proved central to their impressive displays this season and the Ligue 1 giants are keen to keep their side intact in an effort to progress deep in the competition.
However, similar to Liverpool’s signing of Naby Keita last summer, it’s suggested Arsenal could agree a club-record deal of €70m (£63m) in January and in advance of a summer move to Emirates Stadium.
Aouar’s form this season has attracted interest from the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund – but if the latest reports are to be proved right, it would appear Arsenal, and Emery, have won the race for the 20-year-old.