Euro Paper Talk: London rivals join James Rodriguez race

Arsenal are close to agreeing a club-record swoop to buy a young Lyon star, while Liverpool and Chelsea will soon be given an answer by a Real Madrid target, according to Tuesday’s European papers.



Arsenal are readying an impossible-to-resist approach for Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar, according to reports in France.

France Football claims Gunners boss Unai Emery is a huge fan of the young midfielder and has earmaked him as the perfect replacement for Aaron Ramsey, who looks poised to leave Arsenal as a free agent at the end of the season.

However, with talk suggesting Arsenal could look to sell Ramsey to the highest bidder in January – as opposed seeing him leave for free – the reports have indicated Emery could look to tie up a deal for Aouar next month too.

Lyon, of course, have no wish to sell the player, having only tied him to a new deal over the summer, and will instead try and strike a gentleman’s agreement between the player and Arsenal that will grant him permission to make the huge move at the end of the season.

Much of Lyon’s stance centres around their Champions League hopes, with the club only needing a draw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday to guarantee progress to the knockout stages. Aouar has proved central to their impressive displays this season and the Ligue 1 giants are keen to keep their side intact in an effort to progress deep in the competition.

However, similar to Liverpool’s signing of Naby Keita last summer, it’s suggested Arsenal could agree a club-record deal of €70m (£63m) in January and in advance of a summer move to Emirates Stadium.

Aouar’s form this season has attracted interest from the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund – but if the latest reports are to be proved right, it would appear Arsenal, and Emery, have won the race for the 20-year-old.


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Arsenal and Chelsea are among the clubs in the running to seal summer transfers for Colombian duo James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero (Don Balon)

Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente will talk to the club at Christmas before deciding upon his future amid links to Liverpool and Chelsea (Marca)

Juventus will make a huge €65million bid to sign Ruben Neves from Wolves in January – but could move for Isco of Real Madrid if that bid fails (Calciomercato)

Cristiano Ronaldo believes he ‘deserved’ to win the Ballon d’Or this year but is adamant missing out on the award only ‘motivates’ him (AS)

AC Milan sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the club are in talks with Chelsea over a €10m – €12million move for Cesc Fabregas – but it seems the Blues will only sell if the Serie A side also agree to buy Tiemoue Bakayoko next summer (Calciomercato)

Atletico Madrid duo Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez are trying to convince Uruguayan teammate Maxi Gomez to join them in the Spanish capital, after being linked with a €50m switch (Marca)

Paulo Sousa or Laurent Blanc will reportedly replace Eusebio Di Francesco if Roma fail to convince in their next Serie A game against Genoa (Corriere dello Sport)

Arsenal are reported to be targeting an €11million deal to sign Real Vallodolid defender Fernando Calero in January (Cadena Ser)

Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has described the Ballon d’Or as ‘a lie’ after once again overlooking Lionel Messi this year (Sport)

Arjen Robben says he may retire in June after confirming he will quit Bayern Munich when his contract with the defending Bundesliga champions expires (Kicker)

River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio has clarified that his club and Real Madrid have ‘economic differences’ over the transfer of midfielder Exequiel Palacios (various)

Bologna’s sporting director Riccardo Bigon has held talks with Juventus over January deals to sign Moise Kean and Stefano Sturaro (Sky Italia)

Kingsley Coman has revealed that he could retire from football if he needs any more ankle surgery (TF1)

Miguel Almiron’s father has claimed that Newcastle United are in the box seat to sign his son in January

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has called on Barcelona star Lionel Messi to ‘accept the challenge and join me in Italy’ (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Matteo Guendouzi turned down interest from Paris Saint-Germain before joining Arsenal last summer (Canal +)

Manchester City winger Marlos Moreno could remain at loan club Flamengo after it expires at the end of this year (Esporte 24 Horas)

Manchester United are reportedly on the brink of announcing that a deal has been agreed to bring teenage forward Noam Emeran to Old Trafford in January (RMC Sport)

Leonardo has confirmed talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic over a return to AC Milan next month have collapsed (Gazzetta dello Sport)