Lyon general manager Vincent Ponsot confirms Arsenal made an offer for Houssem Aouar over the summer, but he claims it was “below the market value”.

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)

As most Arsenal fans will already be aware, the club made an effort to sign Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar over the summer. Even up until the final week of the window, it looked like there was a good chance of the deal going through.

It all fell apart at the end, however, as Lyon ended negotiations and Arsenal moved on to finalise a deal for Thomas Partey on deadline day.

There are suggestions Arsenal wanted both players, but Lyon general manager Vincent Ponsot explains that they weren’t happy with the size of the bid from the Gunners. Particularly when they had interest from elsewhere.

“We had three big clubs for him. The first one was more for next season,” he told L’Equipe (via Sport Witness).

“The second one was related to the departure of a player, and with this club, we could have come to an agreement. The third club was Arsenal, who offered below the market value.

“We discussed it with the player’s entourage, and together we took the decision to say no.”

Aouar hasn’t had the fastest start to the new campaign, perhaps slightly unsettled by the speculation around his future.

He has a couple of goals and an assist in his first seven games, but only completed 90 minutes twice, and picked up a red card on his second appearance. But he’s a quality player, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see clubs go back in for him in the upcoming windows.

Ponsot hints they could be open to selling to help with their financial situation.

“The economic situation is catastrophic for the football world. We are significantly impacted. On the market, there were two phases: reducing the number of players, which we did very well, and a second part concerning the players who could potentially leave.

“Finally, we could have transferred some of them, with a discount on the price. But even with the Covid impact, we decided to postpone.”