Mikel Arteta is “confident” in Arsenal’s approach to try and bring in who he wants with Houssem Aouar his top target. The Gunners got plenty of their business done early in the transfer window with both Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes joining before the start of the season.
But their attention now has turned to strengthening their midfield with Aouar emerging as their No 1 priority.
Arsenal have already had a bid worth a reported £32million rejected by Lyon with the French club holding out for something in the region of £45m.
Negotiations have been taking place this week between the two clubs but Arsenal are running out of time to make a deal happen.
While the transfer window doesn’t close until Monday at 11pm, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas gave a deadline of Friday so that Rudi Garcia would be able to pick his side for the weekend’s game against Marseille.
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Thomas Partey and Jorginho have also been linked to a move to the Emirates.
But when asked directly about Arsenal’s interest in Aouar, Arteta suggested a deal could happen.
“Well, I am very confident in what we are trying to do internally,” he said.
“[I am getting] clarity and support from everybody at the club to try and improve the team if we can.
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“But most importantly as well, to get the right balance in the squad, for now and the way we want to evolve the squad in the future.
“We are all very much aligned but I’m afraid that I cannot give you any updates or news.”
As well as targeting a move for Aouar, Arsenal are also expected to offload a few players.
Lucas Torreira and Sead Kolasinac are closing in on moves away from Arsenal while Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi are surplus to requirements.
And Arteta is keen to find a solution for both incomings and outgoings before the transfer window closes.
“I think it is a crucial moment because in the end it defines the people, the players, the balance and the quality that you’re going to have for the rest of the season,” he added.
“We need to make some decisions in the next three days, I think everything has been delayed so much, not just us but probably every team because of the context that we’re in at the moment.
“We will try to make the best possible decisions and at the end, whatever we have, we go for it fully convinced and prepared to have a good season.”
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