Arsenal are expected to make a second bid for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar after the French club rejected the Gunners’ €35M initial bid. Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas tweeted earlier today that Arsenal was “too far away” from their valuation and that he was looking forward to Aouar leading the team this season. The Gunners are expected to table an improved, €40M bid with up to €10M in possible add-ons, according to James Benge of football.london.
This isn’t the first time Aulas has gone public about transfer dealings between Lyon and Arsenal. As Benge reminds us, Aulas took the Alexandre Lacazette transfer saga to the media, publicly rejecting a 2016 Arsenal bid. As we know, the Gunners were successful in their pursuit the next summer, and the sale happened just weeks after Aulas said Lacazette would be staying in France.
Take from that what you will. For me, nothing that has happened since Arsenal submitted their initial bid makes me any less confident they’re going to get this one over the finish line. I wrote yesterday that it was going to take €10-15M more, and would you look at that, Arsenal came back with €5M more guaranteed plus €10M in potential add-ons. The second bid actually makes me more confident the Gunners are going to seal the deal. It shows that they’re serious and committed.
Of course, Lyon could reject the second bid and be asking for an unreasonable number. But my gut is telling me this is all part of the usual transfer dance. Arsenal are trying to pay the smallest amount possible, and Aulas is going to the media to try to squeeze a few million more out of the deal. The Gunners have until Monday, October 5th (the transfer window close) to wrap things up.