Earlier this summer it was reported that Arsenal had offered Matteo Guendouzi + cash to Lyon in a bid to secure a deal for Houssem Aouar.
That bid was rejected by the French side, and speaking today the French side’s sporting director, Juninho, confirmed that the midfielder is a player Mikel Arteta is interested in.
He told RMC that his relationship with counterpart Edu, a former Brazilian national teammate, led to conversations about a possible deal, but no accord could be found.
“I get along very well with the sports director [Edu],” he said. “We spoke on the phone. Houssem Aouar is really appreciated by Arteta. There have been some discussions for Matteo Guendouzi who is also a good player.
“He was mentioned during the discussion, but this is not the profile we need, we were very clear. If it is like that, it does not interest us at all – it is, and we stopped.”
It’s not 100% clear what exactly he means by the profile, perhaps it’s behavioural or the player style. Juninho also revealed he’d spoken to Alexandre Lacazette about a loan move back to his former club, but wages were prohibitive.
“In January, I called Alexandre Lacazette to chat with him a bit because he was having problems with Arsenal,” he said.
“I was like: ‘Why not a six-month loan with us where you’re going to have fun, play every game and score goals like you know you can? And then you go back to Arsenal or elsewhere.’
“But from the moment you look at the contract level of these players, like at Juventus or Barça, it is not for us today.”
Arsenal still need some midfield reinforcement, so maybe as the window progresses that good relationship between Edu and Juninho can bring about more fruitful conversations.