Lyon president Aulas names Arsenal as he addresses the future of Aouar

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas named Arsenal while discussing the future of in-demand star midfielder Houssem Aouar.

Aouar has been linked with Premier League outfit Arsenal as well as Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea following Lyon’s memorable run to the semi-finals of the 2019-2020 Champions League.

Lyon value Aouar at € 60m (£ 55m) and refuses to lower their claims as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are struggling to raise the necessary funds.

Asked if Aouar could stay at the Ligue 1 club, Aulas told Le Progres: “Financially, Arsenal are like everyone else. [in a tricky spot amid the coronavirus pandemic].

“And Houssem could say to himself that the best thing would be to stay with us.”

Lyon captain Memphis Depay has also been linked with Barcelona and Milan, while Moussa Dembele continues to attract interest from across Europe.

“From the start, I said we would not lose the three players who were advertised every day in the newspapers,” Aulas said.

“Ten days before the end of the transfer window, none of the three are gone. And I can not imagine that will happen. If one or two leave, they will be replaced.”

Lyon have endured a difficult start to the 2020-21 season and have won just one of their four opening matches to sit 12th in the standings.

But amid doubts about head coach Rudi Garcia’s future, Aulas insisted: “Rudi is with us. He has been quoted as one of the top 10 leaders in Europe. News is being invented, it’s sad.

“We will not react to such inconveniences. Rudi Garcia is and will be our manager, that is clear. And we want a good team.”