Juninho: Lyon won't swap Houssem Aouar for Arsenal's Matteo Guendouzi

‘He was discussed but is the wrong profile’: Lyon chief Juninho says Houssem Aouar is ‘really appreciated’ by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta but French side has no interest in taking Matteo Guendouzi in a swap deal

  • Arsenal have put in a cash-plus Matteo Guendouzi bid for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar 
  • But the Ligue 1 side do not want Guendouzi, says sporting director Juninho
  • The Lyon chief confirmed he has spoken to Arsenal about Aouar’s availability
  • Guendouzi has been frozen out by Gunners head coach Mikel Arteta 

Lyon sporting director Juninho stated the Ligue 1 side are not interested in Matteo Guendouzi in the wake of Arsenal’s player-plus-cash swap offer for Houssem Aouar.

The Gunners are keen on bringing the Aouar to the Emirates Stadium this summer with Arsenal technical director Edu Gaspar reportedly offering £44million plus Guendouzi for the Lyon midfielder.

But the French club have knocked back Arsenal’s initial offer as Juninho thinks Guendouzi is not the right player for them. 

Arsenal put in a cash-plus Matteo Guendouzi offer for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar (above)

But Lyon are not interested in adding Guendouzi (above) to their squad for the coming season

He told French radio station Top of the Foot: ‘I get on very well with Edu, we spoke on the phone. Aouar is really appreciated by Mikel Arteta. 

‘Guendouzi was discussed during the call, he is a great player, but he is the wrong profile. We are not interested in that at all, we cut the conversation.’ 

Guendouzi has been outcasted by Gunners head coach Mikel Arteta and has not played a single minute for the north Londoners since the middle of March.

Lyon sporting director Juninho revealed he has spoken to Arsenal about Aouar’s availability

The young Frenchman last appeared in an Arsenal shirt during a 2-1 defeat to Brighton on March 14, when he appeared to strangle matchwinner Neal Maupay just seconds after the final whistle. 

Arteta recently revealed in a press conference that Guendouzi could play for Arsenal this season but it appears the best case scenario for the Gunners is to use him as a makeweight for other targets. 

But the French midfielder said he is ‘back to work’ at Arsenal after he captained the France Under 21s to a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan on Monday night. 

Aouar, meanwhile, is one of the most highly-rated midfielders in Europe after a stellar season which saw him guide Lyon to the Champions League semi-finals. 

Aouar (above) played a crucial role as Lyon reached the Champions League semi-finals

The 22-year-old scored nine goals and laid on ten assists last season in all competitions and formed a solid midfield partnership with Maxence Caqueret and Bruno Guimaraes.

Aouar came through the youth ranks at Lyon and has made 137 appearances for his boyhood club. 

Arsenal are also looking to add Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey to their squad, while Lucas Torreira could join Guendouzi out of the Emirates exit door this summer. 

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