Opportunity knocks for Arsenal, Tottenham amid cut-price January transfer talk

Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar in Ligue 1 action 2021

Arsenal and Tottenham will find it easier to sign a Ligue 1 attacker in the coming windows after failing to secure a deal this summer, per a report.

The North London rivals both oversaw a significant number of changes to their playing personnel this summer. Tottenham signed Bryan Gil, Pape Sarr and Emerson Royal to permanent deals. They were complemented by the loan acquisitions of Cristian Romero and Pierluigi Gollini who could both arrive on a permanent basis next summer.

Arsenal went one better when acquiring no fewer than six new faces – the last of which was former Spurs target, Takehiro Tomiyasu.

One player who was on the radar of both clubs in recent months was Houssem Aouar. The Lyon playmaker, 23, was seemingly given the green light to leave if a suitable offer was lodged.

But with Arsenal signing Martin Odegaard and Spurs failing to find a buyer for Tanguy Ndombele, their desires to land Aouar faded.

Nevertheless, the Express report one or both clubs could yet return for Aouar in a future window. And per the article, an approach in January or beyond will have a greater chance of succeeding.

That’s because Aouar’s contract is due to expire in 2023. The player is believed to open to a fresh challenge and as such, may not extend his contract if fresh terms are put forward.

Houssem Aouar, Lyon celeb

Lyon will therefore be under increasing pressure to shift Aouar with each passing window. And the Express claim their transfer demands will be relaxed as a result.

Whether Arsenal or Tottenham act on their interest in a future window, only time will tell. But the Express are adamant a ‘lowball’ offer will yield a breakthrough in order to avoid Aouar ultimately leaving for free.

Who won the transfer window? Aston Villa? Man Utd? Daniel Levy?…

Alderweireld admits Tottenham frustration factored into exit

Meanwhile, Toby Alderweireld has elaborated upon his motives for leaving Tottenham Hotspur in order to join Al-Duhail in Qatar.

He has no concerns about the move affecting his international chances, though. In fact, he is currently on duty with Belgium. While with the national setup, he has been speaking about his decision to switch Spurs for Al-Duhail. While not denying the financial benefits of such a move, the centre-back also pointed to family reasons.

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“Well, I could hardly refuse this adventure,” he said in quotes carried by Het Laatste Nieuws and translated by Sport Witness. “Also financially, of course, I will not be silly about that.

“I have two children and at Tottenham I saw them very little. That hurt more and more. In Qatar I will see them more and that is very important to me. I want to see my children grow up and that can be done much better at my current club.

“At Tottenham it frustrated me that I had to leave my family behind too often. Sometimes we played three times a week, with a seclusion before each time. That started to wring more and more.”

Although Alderweireld has left behind European football, he has not noticed a significant drop in quality.

“The level in Qatar and at Al-Duhail is higher than I expected,” he added. “Of course, it is not the Premier League, but the level is better than expected.”

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