Footy Extras

Arsenal news round-up: Aouar on his future, Lacazette future, Fiorentina boss praises Torreira

Long-term Arsenal midfield target 'fully concentrated on Lyon'

Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has downplayed speculation associating him with Arsenal.

The French star was a target for Mikel Arteta last year, with the Gunners shortlisting Houssem as a target in creative midfield.

Martin Odegaard had returned to parent club Real Madrid and the La Liga side were playing hardball over their £45 million asking price, while Leicester City made it clear that they had an interest in allowing James Maddison to leave.

The Gunners would eventually sign Martin but Arteta remains interested in adding more flair to his frontline after the exit of Willian.

However, Houssem has indicated his long-term future remains in Lyon as he ‘dreams’ of playing UEFA Champions League football with his hometown side.

‘As someone who’s from Lyon, to be able to play in the Champions League in this stadium is something I’d like to be able to do again – all of that is down to qualifying this season,’ said the player.

‘Then I’d like to win a trophy, because that’s what’s missing the most for me at this club. I’m fully concentrated on Lyon. Playing in the Champions League again with my hometown club is an objective and a dream of mine.’

The English giants picked up their first points of the campaign after a 1-0 win against Norwich City at the Emirates on Saturday.

Arsenal striker highly likely to become free agent next year

Arsenal are expected to lose forward Alexandre Lacazette when his current deal expires next summer’s transfer market, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The versatile Frenchman was linked with a potential exit this summer, but the Gunners didn’t receive any suitable offers.

According to Sy Sport Italia journalist, the Gunners were interested in landing Tammy Abraham as a replacement for the 30-year-old former Lyon man.

They tried to offload Alexandre first, but the club’s failure to do so contributed to the Englishman’s permanent move to the Serie A giants Roma.

The Gunners are now expected to keep the attacker for the rest of the season and could see him depart for free next year.

Arsenal don’t have any high-profile centre-forward targets at the moment.

They were mentioned with Inter Milan’s Argentine ace Lautaro Martinez, but the South American is now close to penning a long-term contract.

Fiorentina’s attacking talent Dusan Vlahovic has also been on Mikel Arteta’s side’s radar, but he will not come cheaply in the future with the vast interest.

The Premier League heavyweights registered their first points of the new campaign on Saturday with a 1-0 win against Norwich City.

Serie A club head coach lavishes praise on Arsenal loan star

Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Italiano has revealed what Arsenal-owned midfielder Lucas Torreira adds to his roster following his move to the Serie A side in the summer.

In spite of having lifted the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid last term, he remained some way down the Gunners pecking order under Mikel Arteta and was allowed to leave north London once again.

Upon his return, the club signed Albert Sambi Lokonga from Belgian side Anderlecht, whilst they also retained the services of the Switzerland international, Granit Xhaka, who at one point looked set to transfer to the Serie A himself with a move to Roma.

The loan means that Lucas will play at Fiorentina until the end of the term, and La Viola retain the option to buy should they wish to make his move a permanent one.

Lucas is familiar with the Serie A, having originally attracted the English giants’ interest in 2018 following a successful stint at Sampdoria.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the South American, however, as judging by what Vincenzo has said about his mentality, he’s destined to get regular playing time this season.

“We are talking about a footballer [Torreira] who played at Atletico Madrid and Arsenal, has charisma and high intelligence”, he told a press conference when quizzed about Torreira, via insidefutbol.

“He really wants to have the ball at his feet, he always makes up for his mistakes. He adds to the midfield department where we have quality and dynamism.

“I am happy to have a player with this character, in terms of mentality we have to be strong. We must never give up.”