Arsenal playmaker Houssem Aouar claims he’s ‘happy’ to be at Lyon and could stay with his boyhood club for at least another campaign after Arsenal failed to lure him at the Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta identified Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and Lyon’s Aouar as his top transfer targets to strengthen midfield area ,However, Arsenal did manage to secure the services of Ghana international midfielder after triggering a £45million release clause in his current deal at Spanish giants on deadline day and the African midfielder could make his debut when Arteta’s side travel to Etihad Stadium to face Pep Guardiola’s side.
Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes was still the only player to join the Gunners with just hours left of the transfer window while Willian also arrived from PL rivals Chelsea.
The Gunners had several bids turned down for Aouar – with Ligue 1 giants holding out for a fee of €60million (£55m) – and the 22-year-old will remain in the French top-tier for the 2020/21 season.
The Gunners are expected to return for Aouar in the winter transfer window or next summer, however, the France international and insists it still fills him with ‘great pride’ to represent Ligue 1 giants, the team he’s been with since the age of 11.
‘I spoke a lot with [Lyon sporting director] Juninho,’ Aouar told French outlet Telefoot.
‘He shows me his confidence every day: it’s a real pleasure to work with him.
‘To stay here for another season, or more, with him, it’s a great pride.’
Aouar added: ‘I’m happy to stay in Lyon.
‘It’s my city, my club: it’s a great pride to represent OL.
‘It wasn’t necessarily Arsenal or nothing else, even though at the end it was basically that.
‘I had to make a decision and I am happy to stay here.’