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PSG chief responds to links with Arsenal target Houssem Aouar

Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar during the transfer window, but sporting director Leonardo appears to have ruled out a move in the coming days.

The 22-year-old is one of the most talked-about players in Europe this summer, with a string of clubs looking to snap him up.

Arsenal are thought to be in a strong position to sign the Frenchman, but Juventus and Real Madrid have also been credited with interest in the talented star.

Ligue 1 champions PSG have also been touted as a possible destination for Aouar and Leonardo admits he is a fan of his, but it is unlikely to happen before this year’s transfer deadline.

‘Aouar it’s a dream but it may not be the right time,’ said the Brazilian.

That is good news for Arsenal, who have been in negotiations with Lyon but are struggling to agree a price, with the Gunners initially offering £32m but the French side wanting closer to £50m.

Juventus have pulled out of the race to sign him because of Lyon’s asking price, but Real Madrid could be the most serious competition Arsenal face after manager Zinedine Zidane made contact with his compatriot over a move.

Aouar is reportedly thrilled by the prospect of moving to the La Liga champions, but Arsenal also appeals to him and the interest from Madrid may just encourage the Premier League club to up their offer in the near future.

Asked about possible new signings on Friday, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: ‘Well, I am very confident in what we are trying to do internally. [I am getting] clarity and support from everybody at the club to try and improve the team if we can.

‘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.

‘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.

‘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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