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Arsenal target Houssem Aouar to stay at Lyon

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Of course stranger things have happened at the last minute, but it doesn’t look like the Gunners are getting their man.

Olympique Lyon v Olympique Marseille - Ligue 1 Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Arsenal top transfer target Houssem Aouar appears set to remain at Lyon. Aouar told reporters after Lyon’s match on Sunday that he would remain at his boyhood club and felt that he had more to give in France. Early last week, the signs looked promising that Arsenal would get the deal over the line, but by Friday/Saturday things were moving in the wrong direction.

Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas had said on several occasions that Arsenal had not offered enough for their young star and set a Friday artificial deadline, which the Gunners apparently did not meet. The official transfer deadline is today, Monday, October 5th at 6 PM BT.

There are also rumors that Aouar’s brother-agent came back to the table with some exorbitant demands in fees. That is nowhere near confirmed, but I share it as an example of one of the myriad behind-the-scenes things that could go wrong to derail a deal.

It could also be that despite all odds, known windbag Jean-Michel Aulas was telling the truth from the start about Lyon’s position on their attacking midfielder. The club had a number in mind for him, and Arsenal either weren’t willing or weren’t able to meet it.

My gut tells me it’s the former, and that’s okay. Disappointing but okay. Not every deal gets done. As I’ve said, you need a willing buyer, a willing seller, and the right price. And Bob Barker Drew Carey wasn’t with the Gunners on this one.