Arsenal are facing a battle on their hands in their pursuit of Lyon ace Houssem Aouar.

As well as the Gunners, an unnamed participating in the Champions League are also in the race.

The Frenchman is one of the top targets at the Emirates with Mikel Arteta a huge fan of the midfielder.

Aouar has caught the attention of football's biggest names in recent years, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City all linked with England alone.

Lyon have always been reluctant to lose their academy graduate.

But the Telegraph report that they have slapped a £54m price-tag on the 22-year-old after he broke into the first-team three years ago.

Lyon star Houssem Aouar could still sign for Arsenal this summer
Lyon star Houssem Aouar could still sign for Arsenal this summer

Arsenal were thought to be in the driving seat for his signature.

But it has since transpired that Aouar is keeping his options open after a Champions League club became interested in his services.

Bayern Munich could be a potential destination after they lost Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool.

Aouar would fit the mold of the Spaniard while the German champions have made only one significant purchase in the shape of Leroy Sane.

Regardless, the news of the France Under-21 international delaying an agreement with Arsenal will be hugely disheartening to Arteta.

The former Manchester City coach has identified him as a top target, alongside Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid.

Thomas Partey has mentioned his desire to play in the Premier League in the past
Thomas Partey is wanted by Arsenal

Strengthening the midfield at Arsenal has been Arteta's priority and the two targets would be a perfect blend of creativity and steel.

Moving on current players is also one of the main objectives of the Gunners going into the final weeks of the transfer window.

Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi could depart while a defender could also leave, with seven centre-backs alone at the club.

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Arsenal have been active in the transfer window, signing Willian, Gabriel Magalhaes and Dani Ceballos.

Runar Alex Runarsson joined on Monday after the departure of Emiliano Martinez.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also signed a new contract, tying his future to the Emirates.