Memphis Depay speaks out on Houssem Aouar’s future after Arsenal’s failed transfer pursuit

Houssem Aouar and Arsenal transfer target Memphis Depay celebrate during Lyon's clash with Monaco
Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay have both impressed for Lyon this season (Picture: Getty)

Lyon captain Memphis Depay says it would ‘mean everything’ to win the Ligue 1 title with Houssem Aouar this term but admits both of them have ambitions to join ‘one of the top three clubs in the world’ in the future.

Depay, 26, has had a barnstorming start to the campaign, racking up 11 goals and five assists in the league, and the ex-Manchester United forward is widely expected to seek a fresh challenge when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Aouar, 22, meanwhile, has over two years remaining on his deal at the Groupama Stadium but, like Depay, has been tipped to move on to bigger and better things, with Arsenal at the front of the queue for the Frenchman’s signature in the summer transfer window.

Houssem Aouar looks on during Lyon's clash with Nice
Arsenal failed in their pursuit of Aouar in the summer (Picture: Getty)

But according to Lyon chief Vincent Ponsot, the offer Arsenal tabled was some way short of their asking price and the highly-rated playmaker has gone on to register three goals and three assists in the French top flight this season.

Speaking to Canal+ after Lyon’s 1-0 defeat to Metz, Depay said: ‘We know we play for a very big club but we want to go to one of the top three clubs in the world.

‘Then you will see Houssem, he will get ten times better. For me, it’s the same.

‘It would mean everything to me to win the Ligue 1 title with Houssem Aouar, the team and the president.’

Edu and Mikel Arteta look on during Arsenal's clash with Everton
Edu and Arteta are both keen to land a creative midfielder (Picture: Getty)

Aouar is clearly enjoying sharing the field with Depay and admits he would be ‘sad’ if this is their final season as team-mates.

‘If this is the last season that I play with Memphis, of course I would be sad,’ Aouar said.

‘He is a great player and I take enormous pleasure in playing with him.’

Arsenal technical director Edu was believed to at the heart of Arsenal’s failed bid for Aouar ahead of the 2020/21 campaign and the Brazilian recently admitted the club ‘need to bring in a top creative midfielder.

‘It’s quite clear what we need,’ Edu said at an Arsenal fan forum last month.

‘We need a player with creativity in the middle, we don’t have that in the squad right now.’

Aouar remains firmly on Arsenal’s radar and the north London giants could return for the Frenchman in the summer.

However, it’s understood Aouar has dropped down Arsenal’s pecking order of targets after they were left frustrated in the summer, with Emiliano Buendia, Isco, Marcel Sabitzer and Joan Jordan more heavily linked this month.

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