Nottingham Forest transfer miss proves costly, with playmaker target now linked with new contract

Lyon central midfielder Houssem Aouar

Despite being close to joining Nottingham Forest over the summer, Houssem Aouar could now sign a contract extension with Nottingham Forest, according to reports.

Nottingham Forest were by far the busiest Premier League club in the most recent transfer window. To prepare for their long-awaited return to the top flight, they made several adjustments to their squad.

More than 20 new players arrived, with some outlined as new starters and others joining to increase their squad depth. But there were yet more players Nottingham Forest were looking at.

For example, in August, they were in contention to sign Houssem Aouar from Lyon. The midfielder has spent his entire career with his hometown club, but that could have changed.

Nottingham Forest fell short with an attempt to sign him and there has been some fall-out since. Still, Aouar’s future could be a topical matter in the coming months before the January transfer window.

The one-time France international is out of contract at the end of the season. Therefore, he could sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside France from January onwards.

However, in a turn of events, Foot Mercato is now reporting that Lyon are ready to make a further commitment with Aouar to prevent that from happening.

According to the French online outlet, Lyon want to discuss a new deal with Aouar before January. On the table would be a two-year extension to his current terms.

Aouar has only played in one match so far this season for Lyon. It was a 30-minute cameo as a substitute in a win over AC Ajaccio on the opening day in Ligue 1.

However, he was back on the bench against Monaco on Sunday. The report from Foot Mercato claims he is working hard in training and could be about to return to a role of prominence in their side.

Lyon have lost to Lorient and Monaco in their most recent two matches. Therefore, head coach Peter Bosz might have to shake things up soon. Aouar is someone who could benefit.

But his revival with Lyon might not just be for the short term, but the long term too (or at least medium). If his contract extends until 2025, he would be committing to the club until his 26th birthday.

Houssem Aouar could commit to Lyon

Any hopes that Nottingham Forest would have of bidding again for the former Arsenal target in January would subsequently fade.

Steve Cooper’s current options in Aouar’s position are Cheikhou Kouyate, Jack Colback, Remo Freuler, Orel Mangala, Ryan Yates, Lewis O’Brien, Harry Arter, Cafu, Jesse Lingard and Morgan Gibbs-White.

Kouyate, Freuler, Mangala, O’Brien, Lingard and Gibbs-White are new additions for the 2022-23 season.

Hence, they have enough depth without Aouar. But a player who has done well in Europe before would have been an exciting addition nevertheless.

Still, it seems like he is going to be one that got away, rather than one of the many that Nottingham Forest got.

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