Arsenal sent Nicolas Pepe message by Lyon chief amid Aouar transfer interest

Arsenal have been sent a Nicolas Pepe message by Lyon CEO Jean-Michel Aulas which could make their Houssem Aouar transfer pursuit even more difficult.

The Gunners have been chasing the midfielder throughout the summer after guiding the Ligue 1 side to the Champions League semi-finals.

And the north London side have been getting close, “agreeing” personal terms with the Frenchman, leaving just the fee to negotiate.

But Get Football France have reported that Aulas is comparing the midfielder’s value to the player that broke the Gunners’ transfer record.

Speaking to Le Progres, the chief said: “If Pepe is worth the price that they paid for him, then Houssem, who is an international player, is worth more than €30m.”

Pepe arrived from Lille last summer for £72m, eclipsing the club’s original record fee paid for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

But Aulas stated last week that the Gunners had made a ‘timid’ offer for Aouar, but Mikel Arteta’s side look certain to improve on that as the deadline approaches.

The Lyon chief said: "There was a timid offer.

"We felt like either they didn’t consider the fact that this is a player in the French national team.

“So it was not an offer that was even susceptible to making us consider a sale."

When asked about his plans after the defeat to Liverpool, Arteta said: "Well we are trying to improve the team.

"There's a week to go, there's a lot of things happening in and out.

"We don't have any news on new players and either with players that might leave the football club.

"It's a week to go, I think it's going to be really busy for other clubs because not much business has been done. Let's see what happens."

Aouar has started his fifth season at the club, scoring 24 goals in 139 appearances since graduating from the academy in 2017.

While the Frenchman is keen on an exit, the midfielder has admitted that he is ‘resigned’ to joining Arsenal after disappointment from his preferred clubs.

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