PSG elbow their way past Arsenal in chase for top Arteta target

Thomas Tuchel

Paris Saint-Germain are reported to have barged ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Houssem Aouar and will look to sign the Lyon star in next summer’s transfer window.

The 22-year-old has been on Les Gones’ books since the age of 11, playing in youth teams for many years. He cut his teeth with Lyon B before making his first-team debut at the age of 16.

The Lyon-born ace has gone on to make 107 top-flight appearances while playing 15 times in the Champions League.

Capped once by France, he has attracted a lot of interest, with Arsenal making enquiries last summer. That move failed to materialise and has been blamed for a slight dip in form this term.

The talented youngster has two goals from 10 league outings. He played his part as Lyon beat PSG 1-0 on Sunday to move second in the table.

They are level on 29 points with table-topping Lille, with the Parisians just a point behind. Marseille and Montpellier follow, with just three points separating the top five.

PSG have dominated French football in recent years, winning the title seven times in eight season. But they are still looking to improve and tried to sign Aouar last summer.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi held talks with Lyon counterpart Jean-Michel Aulas in the off-season. Financial constraints meant a loan deal was mentioned but time ran out and he remained at Groupama Stadium.

Friends in high places

PSG sporting director Leonardo is another big admirer of Aouar in the French capital. He is said to have made contact with the midfielder’s representatives in the summer.

He will be out of contract in 2023 but Lyon will doubtless hold out for a hefty fee.

A current PSG star has also spoken about Aouar’s talent, further fuelling rumours of a transfer. Ander Herrera said in a press conference: “Houssem Aouar is, in my opinion, one of the best players playing in France.”

That opinion is reportedly common in the Parc des Princes dressing room.

Whether or not he does join Lyon’s rivals only time will tell but there are many suitors. Along with the Gunners, Manchester City and Juventus have also been linked, according to RMC Sport.

Aouar has previously mentioned that he would like to try his luck overseas after leaving Lyon. It has not been a happy season so far for Aouar as he was reprimanded for refusing to train.

That was due to the state of a training pitch but player and club have drawn a line under the incident.

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