Arsenal dealt Houssem Aouar blow as Man City enter transfer battle for Lyon ace

Manchester City could be set to hijack Arsenal’s move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this summer.

The Gunners have identified Aouar, 22, as a top transfer target, yet so far they have seen two bids rejected by Lyon.

Their opening offer involved Matteo Guendouzi, who has been ostracised by Mikel Arteta in north London, heading in the opposite direction to France.

But Lyon sporting director Juninho insists the club have no interest in signing Guendouzi, meaning that bid was swiftly rejected.

And according to ESPN, the Ligue 1 club later rejected an offer of £31.2million for their star midfielder.

Arsenal are still keen to get their hands on Aouar, who produced a number of standout performances on Lyon’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

However, The Mirror claim City could rival them for his signature in the summer transfer window, as Pep Guardiola is also a big fan of the player.

Lyon remain adamant that Aouar will be sold for no less than £54million, which is likely to give City an edge over their Premier League rivals.

Having already decided against triggering Thomas Partey’s £45million release clause at Atletico Madrid, Arsenal could struggle to meet that valuation and allow Guardiola and co to swoop in.

City also have the lure of Champions League football to offer Aouar in the coming season.

Juninho has confirmed that Guardiola is a fan of the France international, but his side are yet to launch a formal offer.

“We were not directly contacted. Maybe [director general] Vincent Ponsot was contacted by Manchester City, I am not sure,” he said.

“It is like that with these two teams, two enormous teams who play to win the Champions League every year, they have the capacity for that and that makes any player dream.

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“I don't know if Houssem is ready to change project for a big Ligue 1 team like PSG.

“For City, of course Guardiola likes the player, but is that the profile that they are looking for today? We don't know that either and we have not received any official offers.”

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