Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has spoken about speculation linking the Gunners with a move for Lyon star Houssem Aouar, saying he would be 'in favour' of the deal.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has made no secret of his desire to recruit a new midfielder and Aouar is understood to be at the top of his wishlist. The dynamic 22-year-old has already made close to 150 appearances for Lyon and played a key role as Rudi Garcia's side reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.
If Aouar does end up joining the club, he will be welcomed with open arms by Aubameyang who lavished him with praise during a recent interview.
"Of course I am in favour [of signing him]," he told Foot+ (via the Metro). "He would add quality. Let’s see what happens. I cannot hide that, even if he is with Lyon."
Aubameyang is formerly of Lyon's arch-rivals St Etienne, hence the jibe about the seven-tIme Ligue 1 champions.
Arsenal have already submitted a £32m big for Aouar, which was quickly rebuffed by OL president Jean-Michel Aulas, who values the midfielder far higher. According to French journalist Olivier Tallaron, Lyon are set to demand between €40m and €50m.
If a deal for Aouar cannot be agreed, the Gunners could turn their attention to Atletico Madrid enforcer Thomas Partey. It is understood that Los Rojiblancos are unwilling to let the Ghanaian depart for anything less than his £46m release clause, which Arsenal are unlikely to pay in full.
Another option is Chelsea playmaker Jorginho. However, Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in taking the Italian on loan.
A sticking point in all three of these potential deals is money. Arsenal have already spent over £30m on new arrivals during the current window and Arteta does not have much more room for manoeuvre without selling a few players first.
Emiliano Martinez has already been sold to Aston Villa for £15m and several more players may need to leave before the Gunners bring in a new midfielder.