Houssem Aouar is subject to interest from several Premier League sides this summer and has his heart set on a move to England according to several reports.
The Lyon midfielder was the star of the French sides Champions League run in Lisbon in August, with influential displays in the centre of midfield helping them into the semi-finals of the competition where they lost to eventual winners Bayern Munich.
With Lyon now officially not in any European competition this season following the early cancellation of Ligue 1 last year due to COVID-19, the club are in need of cash and may have to part with their biggest stars.
Captain Memphis Depay has been the subject of interest from several clubs, including PSG according to reports recently, and after scoring a hat-trick on the opening day of the season he refused to rule out a move elsewhere. Now Aouar is set to enter the spotlight with clubs taking a look at the young Frenchman.
According to several reports Juventus, Manchester City and Arsenal are all seriously considering making a move for the 22 year old. Prior to the Champions League run in August, it was expected that Lyon would accept around €40million for the player, with the idea that they would reinvest early on to have their squad set for the new season. But following his exceptional performances, Lyon now believe they can get around €60million for the player and the interested parties haven’t been put off.
Manchester City are reportedly interested in bringing the player in to replace David Silva, who left on a free transfer and joined Real Sociedad after 10 years at the club. While their interest is genuine, they are (obviously) prioritising the potential signing of a certain Lionel Messi.
Juventus are also interested and after signing Arthur Melo already from Barcelona, they released both Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira which leaves them one midfielder light. Houssem Aouar is the man they want to bring in to fill that void, but they’re currently biding their time in negotiations.
The dark horses in the race are Arsenal, who after signing Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille and Willian on a free transfer are now looking to strengthen their midfield. Dani Ceballos will return to the club on another season-long loan deal and the club are reportedly interested in Thomas Partey as well as Aouar. The issue the Gunners have is that they’re short on outright cash, hence the stumbling block they currently have in their pursuit of the Ghanaian. Arsenal would likely look to pay less money up front with add-ons and clauses which would likely mean Lyon would prefer to sell elsewhere. With that said, Arsenal are the only side who seem to be making their interest concrete at the moment which could force the other sides to either back out or step up. If they don’t, Lyon may have no choice but to accept Arsenal’s offer.
With Aouar’s reported preference to play in the Premier League, that would also be a boost to Arsenal’s chances. With a month to go in the transfer window, these deals will step up now and decisions will need to be made.
The likelihood of the player staying at Lyon beyond the window is extremely low, but right now where he’ll be is up in the air.