Arsenal are reportedly still interested in signing Houssem Aouar when the January transfer window opens despite missing out on the playmaker during the summer.

Lyon's French midfielder Houssem Aouar celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between FC Metz and Olympique Lyonnais at the Saint Symphorien stadium in Longeville-lès-Metz, eastern France, on February 21, 2020. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP)
Lyon’s French midfielder Houssem Aouar celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between FC Metz and Olympique Lyonnais at the Saint Symphorien stadium in Longeville-lès-Metz, eastern France, on February 21, 2020. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP)

As Arsenal crashed all too predictably against a Leicester side that came to smash and grab using a tried and tested technique of packing their defence and just waiting for Arsenal to hand them the points, it was clear that creativity is a massive problem in the side.

With Mesut Ozil frozen out for reasons that are obviously nothing to do with football, Arsenal are left looking towards youngsters to effect change.

It is therefore no surprise to read that Arsenal are supposedly still interested in signing Aouar, however they apparently face competition from Juventus.

Why Aouar’s move to Arsenal fell through

Arsenal landed Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid on deadline day, but Houssem Aouar ended up as the one that got away.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 15: Houssem Aouar of Olympique Lyon celebrates following his team's victory in the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match between Manchester City and Lyon at Estadio Jose Alvalade on August 15, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Franck Fife/Pool via Getty Images)
LISBON, PORTUGAL: Houssem Aouar of Olympique Lyon celebrates following his team’s victory on August 15, 2020. (Photo by Franck Fife/Pool via Getty Images)

With Atletico Madrid refusing to negotiate and the Thomas Partey deal on hold as a result, Arsenal started to look into a move for Houssem Aouar. The Athletic reported that the Gunners were ‘confident’ of securing a deal.

Technical director Edu was in regular talks with Lyon’s Juninho but The Athletic suggested Arsenal’s mistake was in completely bypassing Jean-Michel Aulas.

As a result, when they submitted offers, they were well short of Aulas’ expectations. When Aulas set deadlines, the Gunners weren’t ready to meet them. By the closing stages of the window, Aouar was having second thoughts.

After all, in the final days of the last week of the window, the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid were publicly showing their appreciation of Aouar, whilst also insisting a deal wouldn’t happen until next summer.

Another year at Lyon followed by a move to a club certain to be in the Champions League was apparently more appealing than the uncertainty of Arteta’s project. Regardless of how exciting that uncertainty may be for fans. Or was before they played Leicester.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Brendon Rodgers manager of Leicester City celebrates as he walks past Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 25: Brendon Rodgers manager of Leicester City celebrates as he walks past Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England.(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

In Arsenal’s defence, I’m not sure you can blame them for hesitating to offer €50m. It would have meant a €100m outlay on two players in a current summer of financial difficulties that already required Stan Kroenke to put his hand in his pocket. That’s without any major sales agreed, bar Emi Martinez.

Given the failure to sell anyone most of the players we wanted rid of, spending that much could’ve left Arsenal in real financial trouble. Unfortunately, their hesitation seemingly left enough time for Aouar to change his mind. That was what ultimately killed the deal.

“I am happy, this is my city and this my club,” Aouar told Telefoot while on International duty with France.

“I am proud to represent this club, I have so much motivation to make a great season.

“We made a choice, I’m happy to stay here. Aulas and Juninho convinced me to stay in Lyon.”

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