Jose Mourinho delight as Roma reach ‘agreement’ to sign long-term Arsenal target also linked with Tottenham

Marco Verratti and Houssem Aouar, PSG vs Lyon

Italian club AS Roma have reached an ‘agreement in principle’ to sign a player previously targeted by Arsenal and Tottenham, with Jose Mourinho set to benefit from his midfield being improved.

Mourinho has been in charge of Roma since July 2021. During his first season in charge at the Stadio Olimpico he guided Roma to the inaugural Europa Conference League trophy, their first continental title since 1961.

Roma are doing well once again this season, occupying third spot in the Serie A table, ahead of the two Milan clubs and Juventus. They made it to the last eight of the Coppa Italia, where they were surprisingly beaten by Cremonese. Roma have also made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and will be looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg against Feyenoord on April 20.

A few of Mourinho’s players have been linked with Premier League moves in the last 12 months, mainly striker Tammy Abraham and winger Nicolo Zaniolo. Abraham has so far remained in Italy – though that may change this summer – while Zaniolo has joined Galatasaray.

Roma now look set to sign a player who has long been a target for Arsenal and has also been looked at by Mourinho’s former club Spurs.

According to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira, Roma have struck an ‘agreement in principle’ with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar. The Ligue 1 star has run down his contract at Lyon and can join a new club on a free transfer this summer, with Roma poised to capture him.

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Writing on Twitter, Schira revealed that Aouar will earn €2.8million plus bonuses per year. That works out at a base salary of around £48,000 a week, with Aouar in line to earn more if he contributes goals and assists.

Arsenal repeatedly looked into signing Aouar from Lyon in the 2021 and 2022 summer transfer windows. However, they either failed to match the French club’s valuation or decided to pursue alternative midfielders instead.

Houssem Aouar to join Roma after Prem rumours

Arsenal’s local rivals Spurs have also been backed to sign the 24-year-old in the past, while Nottingham Forest came close to landing him last summer.

But a Premier League switch has never materialised and Aouar is now close to heading to Serie A. It should be an exciting new challenge for the playmaker as he has only ever played in France with Lyon previously.

While Aouar will likely sign for Roma, Arsenal are trying to bring in West Ham skipper Declan Rice instead. His contract expires in June 2024 and with no renewal planned, Arsenal should be able pick him up for a reduced price this summer.

Although, Rice is not the only midfielder Arsenal have identified as a potential signing. The Gunners also like the look of Eintracht Frankfurt and Denmark ace Jesper Lindstrom.

And in a timely boost for Arsenal, German outlet Bild recently reported that Frankfurt have already found their replacement for Lindstrom.

Meanwhile, Friday’s Euro Paper Talk reveals Arsenal have asked to be kept informed on the situation of an AC Milan attacker.