Tottenham are reportedly prepared to meet the asking price for a playmaker wanted by north London rivals Arsenal for more than a year.
The Gunners have been in the running to land Lyon star Houssem Aouar since their interest was first revealed last summer. However, Spurs are looking to steal a march on their deadly rivals by landing the attacking midfielder in a cut-price deal.
Le10Sport claims that Arsenal have already submitted an offer of just under €20million (£17.11m). But Lyon are holding out for a figure closer to €25m (£21.39m).
PSG and Atletico Madrid are also in the running for the 23-year-old. However, the report adds that Spurs have already opened dialogue with the Ligue 1 outfit over a deal.
The report states that Daniel Levy is prepared to meet Lyon’s asking price for the player. Aouar scored eight goals and notched four assists in 33 appearances in all competitions last term.
The chances of Tottenham striking a deal with Lyon are good after they purchased Tanguy Ndombele in 2019. The club’s record signing arrived in a £53.8m deal that could rise to £62.8m in add-ons.
Aouar’s ability to open up a defence with slide-rule passes has been likened to that of former Spurs hero Christian Eriksen.
Aouar arrival could alter Kane role
That has been sorely missed since the Dane’s exit to Inter Milan in January 2020. Indeed, Harry Kane has often been forced to adapt his game and drop deeper to take up the playmaking role. That is something that would change if Aouar was signed and Kane decided to stay put.
But Tottenham are likely to have to act fast to get their man, given the surprisingly low fee involved.
That could be a major concern, however, given Levy’s tendency to draw out negotiations.
Spurs, who are yet to make a signing this summer, have already been linked with a plethora of centre-backs without making a concrete move for any.
New boss Nuno Espirito Santo is said to want at least two new defenders. A midfielder and forward player are also on Tottenham’s radar, although their budget is expected to be a tight one.