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13th Oct 2020

Edu used ‘jet lag’ excuse for not bringing Houssem Aouar to Arsenal

Simon Lloyd

Lyon expected Arsenal to return with a second bid

For all the talk doing the rounds at the start of the summer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wanting out and Mikel Arteta having no money to spend, things didn’t work out too badly at all for Arsenal. Not only did they convince their Gabonese striker to ink a new deal, they also brought in a few new faces – most notably the deadline day arrival of Thomas Partey.

Things might, however, have been even better for the north London club. Lyon’s Houssem Aouar was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal throughout the transfer window – with speculation claiming a late move may have been imminent as deadline day neared.

With their efforts concentrated on bringing Partey in from Atletico Madrid, Aouar stayed put.

According to France Football, Arsenal didn’t come close to making a late bid for Aouar. Instead, it was Juventus who made the most serious play for the midfielder, offering €50 million as well as the chance to take Federico Bernardeschi on a season-long loan. Only when Bernardeschi rejected the chance to move did the deal collapse.

The same article also suggests Aouar’s hopes of a move to Arsenal were scuppered by technical director, Edu. Whereas Arteta held positive discussions with the player to convince him to move to The Emirates, the deal stagnated when it was passed over to Edu, who was seemingly not as keen for Arsenal to complete a deal for him.

Though the Brazilian did submit a concrete offer of around €34m plus bonuses for Aouar at one stage, an improved offer failed to arrive when it was rejected. Edu is then said to have ‘played the watch’, at one stage telling representatives of the player he had not contacted Arsenal’s owners regarding the deal due to jet-lag.

Lyon expected Arsenal to return with an offer somewhere in the region of €40m to €45m, but contact between the clubs came to an abrupt end two weeks before the close of the window.

It remains to be seen if a move can be resurrected in January or next summer. By then, it’s likely Arsenal will have plenty of competition.