Mikel Arteta’s stance on Houssem Aouar as Lyon reject offer of Arsenal star

Lyon sporting director Juninho says Arsenal have made contact over the availability of star midfielder Houssem Aouar.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with Aouar in recent weeks and Juninho opened up on manager Mikel Arteta's admiration for the 22-year-old.

France U21 midfielder Aouar scored nine goals and provided 10 assists in 41 competitions last season and helped guide Lyon to the Champions League semi-finals.

He is coveted by clubs across across Europe but is contracted at Parc Olympique Lyonnais until 2023 and is believed to have a price tag in the region of £45million to £54million.

Arsenal are highly unlikely to table such a bid up front and have instead been exploring a player-plus-cash offer for Aouar which would see out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi go the other way.

But Juninho confirmed he has no interest in Guendouzi, 21, during a frank discussion about Aouar's future with French outlet RMC Sport .

"I get on very well with [Arsenal technical director] Edu, we spoke on the phone," the Lyon chief said. "Aouar is really appreciated by Mikel Arteta.

"Guendouzi was discussed during the call, he is a great player, but he is the wrong profile. We are not interested in that at all, we cut the conversation."

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Aouar is also linked with moves to Arsenal's Premier League rivals Manchester City and French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

But Juninho confirmed those clubs are yet to table formal offers for the player, adding: "I think that has been happening directly with agents.

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

"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. 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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