Arsenal are the latest in line to register an interest in Lyon star Houssem Aouar and are set to spark a bidding war with Manchester City and Liverpool
Arsenal are beginning to show signs of their preparations for life without Aaron Ramsey. In the process, Unai Emery and Sven Mislintat are busy identifying targets to suit their cause. To that end, The Sun are reporting that the Gunners could be in the chase for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for his signature.
Before the season began, Aouar was a largely unknown player plying his trade alongside Lyon’s established stars. But, the player has exploded onto the scene this term, scoring five and assisting a further four goals so far. Such form is usually the card for bigger teams to take notice and quite unsurprisingly Manchester City and Liverpool have been linked already.
Aouar’s performance against Manchester City, in particular, did the trick to generate some concrete interest from the Premier League champions and then Liverpool, But, it’s Arsenal who seem to be intent on bringing the player to the Emirates. The report suggests that Unai Emery might have a better idea about the player’s ability and performance levels from his time in France with PSG.
Arsenal are also trying to ensure they have the first refusal on the player over other clubs, and this could be the result of their cordial relationship with Jean-Michel Aulas after they concluded a deal for Alexandre Lacazette last year. The same could not be said for Liverpool, who are now in Lyon’s bad books after a deal for Nabil Fekir fell through last summer.
The extent of Manchester City’s interest is unknown, but the Premier League champions would fancy their chances of swooping the midfielder away from Groupama Stadium. The interest from Liverpool is a bit perplexing though, considering the riches of talent available to Jurgen Klopp.
Lyon have reportedly placed a £40 million price tag on the youngster, which could be easily met by City, although Arsenal are a club who might face difficulties raising that kind of money. The Gunners are in desperate need to qualify again for the Champions League, something they have missed for two seasons now after playing in the competition for 21 years straight.
Additionally, with Aaron Ramsey set to depart the club, Emery might just feel Aouar is the player to replace the Welshman, and for the sum that is being demanded.
Ramsey’s contract situation is quite well known across by now, and Emery himself confirmed the case is now closed. That said, with Ramsey leaving, Arsenal need to find a solution to fill the void left by the Welshman for next season. Aouar surely ticks the boxes, and his relatively young age is also a factor when it comes to building for the future.
However, it is still not clear if Lyon will want to sell their rising star just yet, and if that is to happen, then the player’s inclination towards a move will be a key factor. There is the lure of City and Liverpool, but Arsenal have shown how to utilise a young, rising star with Matteo Guendouzi. An interesting few months beckon.