Manchester City are ready to splash the cash on Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar amid interest from Liverpool and Arsenal.
English champions Manchester City are ready to challenge rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in pursuit of Houssem Aouar, as reported by The Sun. It is believed that the Sky Blues are willing to lodge a £54 million bid for the Lyon midfielder, who has lit up the French top flight with his explosive performances this season.
However, the defending champions could face stiff competition, with Liverpool and Arsenal also showing a keen interest in the services of the Lyon playmaker.
Liverpool are keen to shore up their attack as Jurgen Klopp hopes to retain their number one status till the end of the season while Arsenal are in dire need of a playmaker, following Mesut Ozil’s dismal campaign. But, Manchester City, it seems, have managed to outwit their league rivals and are currently leading the race to sign Aouar.
Aouar played against City earlier this season, impressing in a 2-1 win over the Premier League champions while also doing well in the reverse fixture at the end of last month. He registered three assists in six matches in the Champions League this season as Lyon secured their qualification in the knockout rounds.
The 20-year-old has also been quite productive in the league, scoring six goals in 18 matches, thereby helping Les Gones maintain their third-placed status in the table.
Indeed, Aouar has become a valuable asset for Lyon, thanks to his impressive skill set in the centre of the pitch. Despite being labelled as a central midfielder, the Frenchman loves to spite forward in the final third and also has an eye for a killer through-pass.
Much like Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aouar has excellent control over the ball, which allows him to drift past opposing defenders while his exceptional vision and ability to rotate possession has made Lyon much more composed in possession phases.
This could be a boon for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who surely needs reinforcements in the midfield department. Although it is believed that Aouar could be eyed as a like for like replacement for Brahim Diaz, who could be heading to the Santiago Bernabeu, the youngster could be crafted as a potential long-term replacement for City’s midfield ace David Silva.
As iterated earlier, the Frenchman loves to get forward and control the tempo of the game, which is ideally suited to Pep Guardiola’s Juego de posicion style of play. But, what makes him an appealing target for the Sky Blues is the fact that he can also create chances in the final third, having averaged over one key pass per game this season.
Aouar can definitely thrive at City, especially with pacy attackers like Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus playing upfront. Having said that, the 20-year-old is unlikely to be given a regular place in the starting lineup, which could certainly hinder his growth and progress as a player.
Additionally, the fact that he lacks experience in the highest level of football, having made only 53 appearances in the Ligue 1, raises question marks over his credibility of making the transition from the French top flight to the fast-paced Premier League, making him no less than a gamble for the English giants.