Lyon general manager Vincent Ponsont has given reasons why they didn’t allow midfielder Houssem Aouar to join Arsenal despite a bid from the English club.
The French midfielder as one of his top priorities for Mikel Arteta but they didn’t manage to lure the player to The Emirates and according to Ponsont, the money offered by the North London club was below their market value for the player.
“We had three big clubs for him. The first one was more for next season. The second one was related to the departure of a player, and with this club, we could have come to an agreement. The third club was Arsenal, who offered below the market value.
“We discussed it with the player’s entourage, and together we took the decision to say no. The priority for us was clearly to keep the team competitive. For us, the market was over, but the coach told us that we were missing a lateral defender and then a central defender,” he told L’Equipe (via Sport Witness).
Ponsont, however, hinted that they could be forced to sell some of their most prized assets to balance books due to the effect of COVID-19 that has threatened the club financial stability.
“The economic situation is catastrophic to the football world. We are significantly impacted. On the market, there were two phases: reducing the number of players, which we did very well, and a second part concerning the players who could potentially leave,” he added.
Arsenal, however, got Partey in the summer to shore up their midfield and there is hope that they might return for the French midfielder in January.