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Arsenal offered Lyon star on loan as Willian nears exit

The Gunners have spent big thus far this summer transfer window – more than anyone else in the Premier League, but they may not be finished just yet with four days left

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Gunners player ratings: Man City 5-0 Arsenal

It has been a nightmare few weeks for everyone associated with Arsenal football club as the Gunners have succumbed to their worst start to a league season in more than 60 years.

Three consecutive defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and most recently Manchester City has left Mikel Arteta’s side bottom of the Premier League with a goal difference of minus nine, yet to find the net in any of their opening three contests.

The pressure is beginning to mount on Arteta, with the credit he amassed from his 2020 FA Cup victory a distant memory as fans grow restless over the fact they are some way off the rest of their ‘big six’ rivals.



Mikel Arteta is under increasing pressure from fans after a third straight defeat (Photo by TIM KEETON/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (12378601m))




So far this window, the Gunners have spent £140m on Nuno Tavares, Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale, only one of whom in Odegaard that actually featured in the drubbing at the Etihad.

The spending is not expected to end there though, here is Mirror Sport’s Arsenal transfer round-up for Sunday, August 29.

Lyon alter Aouar stance offering hope to Arsenal



Lyon’s Houssem Aouar is now available on loan according to reports in France
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)




North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham could go head-to-head in the race for the signature of Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.

The Gunners had identified Aouar as a potential transfer target last summer, but opted to spend their money on former Atletico Madrid man Thomas Partey instead.

Aouar is a creative midfielder, something the Gunners have lacked in recent years though they have secured last season’s loan star Martin Odegaard on a permanent basis for £30m.









Tottenham appear to be the side more likely to secure Aouar this summer, but Arsenal have revived their interest in the wake of their dismal start to proceedings.

Lyon had hoped to receive at least £50m for the 23-year-old last summer, before halving that valuation at the beginning of this window.

According to Get French Football News, Lyon are now willing to accept a loan deal, though they claim that any deal would need to contain an obligation-to-buy for summer 2022.

This is due to the lack of interest from the clubs in question in purchasing the midfielder outright.

Willian edges closer to Arsenal exit



Willian is on the verge of leaving Arsenal after just one season at the Emirates
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Image:

Arsenal FC via Getty Images)




Arteta has confirmed that the 33-year-old Brazilian has held talks with Corinthians over a move that would see him return to his home country.

“We are having some conversations with him and the agent, and we are evaluating the position that we are in at the moment,” the Arsenal boss told the press.







If the move does go through, it will mean Willian lasted just one season in North London, in which he bagged just one goal in 25 Premier League appearances.

The Arsenal boss was pressed on why Willian’s form has seemingly abandoned him in an Arsenal shirt, to which he responded: “I don’t know [why it hasn’t worked out for him here].

“At the moment he is an Arsenal player, and we are trying to get the best out of him while he is here. Anything different is just things that can happen.”

Another academy graduate could leave



Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be on the verge of another loan spell away from Arsenal
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Image:

Getty Images)




Where will Arsenal finish this season? Have your say here.

Hale End academy star Ainsley Maitland-Niles could follow Joe Willock out the door as Everton register their interest in the 23-year-old.

Maitland-Niles has found first-team opportunities limited in recent months, spending the latter half of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion as the Baggies suffered relegation.

According to The Daily Mail, the Toffees have already held talks with the Gunners hierarchy over the idea of taking the utility player on a season-long loan.

There has also been interest from Crystal Palace, Burnley and Newcastle but Rafa Benitez’s Everton side are rumoured to be the most keen on Maitland-Niles.

With Seamus Coleman entering the twilight of his playing days, Benitez recognises the important of a having a younger option to deputise.



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