Arsenal not interested in signing Houssem Aouar before deadline

Toby Cudworth
Houssem Aouar has regularly been linked with a Premier League move
Houssem Aouar has regularly been linked with a Premier League move / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Arsenal will not pursue a move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar before the transfer deadline.

The 23-year-old has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Premier League, and has been touted as a target for the majority of the 'big six' at one time or another.

The Gunners and north London rivals Tottenham have been most heavily linked this summer, although neither side has fully engaged in talks with either Lyon or the player's representatives.

But with Arsenal's 2021/22 campaign getting off to a disastrous start - despite Mikel Arteta spending heavily this summer - speculation has continued regarding a possible bid for Aouar, even though the Gunners fought tooth and nail to secure the signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.

But any lingering hope that Arsenal may also want to sign Aouar has been scuppered by Fabrizio Romano. He tweeted that Arsenal are focusing their attentions on Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu instead, as well as shifting a number of players out of the club.

Among those heading for the Emirates Stadium exit door is Hector Bellerin. He's been at the club for eight years, making close to 250 appearances in all competitions after arriving from Barcelona.

But over the past couple of seasons, Bellerin's place in the side has been far from guaranteed - following on from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in January 2019. A move to Real Betis is now nearing completion, seemingly leaving Cedric Soares as Arsenal's first choice right-back.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is another player pushing for a move away, but he's currently at odds with the club and Arteta. He wants to join Everton, who are interested, but the Gunners are not contemplating doing a deal - bizarrely leading to the player training away from his teammates.

In terms of incomings, Arsenal have splashed over £130m on the likes of Odegaard, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares - while established internationals Willian and David Luiz, as well as homegrown midfielder Joe Willock, have left north London.