David Ornstein provides update on Arsenal’s bid to sign £99m-rated duo

By on September 23, 2020

Houssem Aouar

The Athletic journalist David Ornstein has provided an update on Arsenal’s attempts to bolster their midfield this summer and suggested we could yet sign both Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar.

Mikel Arteta’s focus during the final weeks of the transfer window is to overhaul his midfield and Ornstein has confirmed Partey and Aouar are Arsenal’s top two central midfield targets.

The respected journalist says Arsenal are trying hard to land the duo and while it remains to be seen whether we’ll manage to sign one or both, the club have back-up options lined-up in-case we miss out.

Partey has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates after turning down a contract extension at Atletico Madrid but Arsenal have so far refused to meet his £45m release clause as we look to drive down the price during the closing days of the window.

We failed to use Matteo Guendouzi as bait to land the Ghanaian international but Atletico are keen on Lucas Torreira so perhaps a player-plus-cash swap deal could be negotiated between the two clubs.

Ornstein suggests that if Arsenal only sign one of their prime targets Partey is perhaps the more likely to arrive this summer due to his release clause and the fact we desperately need to add his type of player to the squad.

However, The Athletic journo went on to say that Arsenal director Edu does have a good relationship with Lyon counterpart Juninho and Aouar is represented by the same agent as Arteta so that should all aid in negotiations for the French U21 international.

The Express carried a report last week that claimed Arsenal were set to table an improved £36m bid for Aouar after seeing an opening offer rejected but it would still fall short of Lyon’s £54m asking price.

Obviously Arsenal don’t have a spare £99m laying around to meet the valuations of both Partey and Aouar so Ornstein says our hopes of landing the pair rest with our ability to offload unwanted players.

Guendouzi is on the market but we aren’t seeing much interest in the Frenchman. Torreira is expected to leave with reports suggesting a loan with obligation to buy clause so that should generate some money while we banked around £16m from the sale of Emi Martinez.

Sead Kolasinac, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Reiss Nelson and Calum Chambers could also leave either on loan or permanent deals over the coming weeks as Arsenal look to free-up money to fund swoops for Partey and Aouar.

Watch Ornstein’s update on his podcast here: