The Gunners have been strongly linked to the French and Ghanian midfielders this summer as new manager Mikel Arteta hopes to oversee a radical overhaul of the squad. However, with the transfer window set to close soon, there has been no substantial progress made on either front.
Although Dani Ceballos has returned for a second successive loan spell at the Emirates, Arsenal are still in need of reinforcements in midfield and hope to bring in fresh faces for the new campaign.
Diawara eyed as potential summer target by Arsenal
As per English outlet Football London, Arsenal have identified Amadou Diawara as a fall-back option should they fail to land Partey and Aouar. It is understood that his parent club, AS Roma, are hopeful of netting a fee of £27m from the Guinean's potential sale.
Diawara arrived at the Stadio Olimpico as recently as last summer from Napoli, and enjoyed a favourable debut campaign in the capital city. However, Roma would be open to a sale should any potential suitors meet their demand for the 23-year-old.
Priority targets Aouar and Partey could potentially cost Arsenal a lot more than what Roma have quoted for Diawara. The Atletico Madrid star, as reported by Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano, has a £45m release clause in his current contract.
Arteta's side reportedly tried and failed to convince Diego Simeone and co to agree to a player plus cash deal as Atleti insist that his release clause has to be paid in full.
Elsewhere, Aouar could also cost the Gunners failed to convince Olympique Lyon to sell him with an opening bid of €40m. Arsenal also included Matteo Guendouzi as part of a deal, but Lyon were not interested in the player, as confirmed by Les Gones' director Juninho.
Speaking on his club's dialogue with Arsenal, the legendary Brazilian revealed;
"I get on very well with the [Arsenal] Sporting Director [Edu]. We spoke on the phone. Houssem Aouar is really well liked by [Mikel] Arteta. There were some discussions for Matteo Guendouzi, who is also a good player. He was brought up during the discussion."
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was also confident about retaining his prized asset Aouar, who he labelled as Les Gones' 'best player'.
When asked whether he believes Arsenal will sign Aouar this summer, Aulas revealed;
"No, I don't think so [Arsenal signing Aouar]. There is no offer yet. It seems that Arsenal don't want to, or can't invest the price for Houssem [Aouar], who is our [Lyon's] best player."
If they fail to sign either one of Aouar or Partey, a move for Diawara could be a feasible option for Arsenal to consider.
Published 23 Sep 2020, 01:21 IST