Lyon’s Houssem Aouar has broken his silence after his proposed transfer to Arsenal collapsed.
The 22-year-old midfielder had been linked with a switch to The Gunners for weeks but the Premier League club failed to meet Lyon’s demands in time to seal his signature.
Arsenal were told they must have a deal wrapped up by Friday night but did not return to Lyon with an improved bid having seen two previous offers rejected.
A big of around £32million is believed to have been Arsenal’s latest offering as Lyon held out for closer to £54m, but Aouar’s comments suggest he may have stayed put anyway.
“I felt that I can still bring something to this team,” Aouar said after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Marseille.
“I wanted to continue the adventure with the club who raised me.
“We must raise our heads because we have to do better.”
Arsenal had also offered misfit youngster Matteo Guendouzi in part-exchange to try and tempt Lyon into a sale, but the French club were not interested in the 21-year-old.
Mikel Arteta has now reportedly turned his attentions to trying to lure Chelsea midfielder Jorginho to the club on loan as the clock ticks down on deadline day.
Lyon meanwhile look set to lose one of their star men from last season as Memphis Depay edges towards a move to Barcelona.
The former Man Utd winger is expected to head to the Nou Camp for a fee worth £25m plus add-ons, where he will pen a five-year contract.
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Juninho Pernambucano, Lyon’s sporting director, told Telefoot on Sunday: “He [Depay] has 12 months left on his contract, so… He has got an agreement with Barcelona, we don’t hide that.
“It is possible that Memphis signs for Barcelona tomorrow, but it is not certain.
“He is the most likely to go. If he stays he will help us.”
Depay’s arrival at Barcelona is likely to signal Ousmane Dembele’s exit, with Man Utd hopeful of landing the forward.