Manchester City and Arsenal could go toe-to-toe in a battle to sign Lyon’s midfield star Houssem Aouar this summer, according to reports.
Aouar has made quite the impression during his time with the Ligue 1 side. His ability to successfully play in numerous positions has made him quite the asset. Aouar can operate in defensive, central or attacking midfield roles, while he is also comfortable on the left flank.
He has 22 goals and 25 assists in 135 appearances in all competitions, and has caught the eye of many around Europe.
So far, Lyon have managed to hold onto the versatile 22-year-old. Premier League champions Liverpool have been linked with a move in the past.
However, they may have to sell this summer as they look to bring in extra funds. As with all teams, the coronavirus pandemic has hit them hard financially.
And a report from L’Equipe, via the Mirror, states that Manchester City and Arsenal could capitalise on that by making a swoop to sign him for around £54million.
Having already signed Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, City are expected to do more business in the coming weeks. Pep Guardiola is understood to be a fan of Aouar, and could make a move to bolster his midfield options.
With David Silva departing, Guardiola may be keen to add a player who can play in the middle or out wide. But with defensive targets the priority, City are unlikely to take their interest further immediately.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are preparing to make changes to their squad ahead of Mikel Arteta’s first full season in charge.
Willian is expected to join from Chelsea in the coming days, and the likes of Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes could also be added.
Midfield reinforcements could be required with the futures of Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil unclear. Both are reportedly set to be heading out of the Emirates.
A deal to bring Dani Ceballos back is also yet to be finalised. Therefore, Aouar could be an alternative should negotiations with Real Madrid prove fruitless.
INTEREST FROM ITALY
Both City and Arsenal will have to hold off further interest in Aouar from Juventus. The Italian outfit are also believed to be eyeing up the Frenchman.
Juve came up against him twice in their recent Champions League last 16 tie and have seen his qualities close up. Aouar registered an assist in each game, which will have only improved the Serie A champions’ opinion of him.
What’s more, the chance to work with newly appointed Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo could be a huge attraction.