Chelsea and Manchester City are reportedly interested in signing £45 million rated Olympique Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar in the summer transfer window.

According to a report from ESPN, Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City are set to go head to head in pursuit of Olympique Lyon’s rising star Houssem Aouar this summer.

The 21-year-old Aouar is a product of the Lyon academy. Having made his first-team debut back in 2017, the midfielder has grown into a key player for Les Gones. Till date, he has featured 133 times for the Ligue 1 outfit, scoring and assisting 24 goals apiece.

The 2019/20 campaign has been one of Aouar’s best till date. The Frenchman has racked up nine goals and seven assists in 37 matches across all competitions. With Lyon still alive in the UEFA Champions League, the midfielder will have a chance to add to his tally, whenever the competition resumes.

Aouar’s rise in prominence at Lyon hasn’t gone unnoticed with Premier League champions-elect Liverpool monitoring the 21-year-old. And now, as per the aforementioned report from ESPN, Chelsea and Manchester City have also entered the race to sign the Frenchman.

Chelsea have already made quite the wave even before the transfer window has opened. Having already signed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, the Blues are set to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner as well.

Houssem Aouar is a man in demand (Photo by Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Houssem Aouar is a man in demand (Photo by Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s interest in Aouar though, comes as a bit of a surprise, given the options at manager Frank Lampard’s disposal. Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Mason Mount and the fit-again Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all vying for the three places in the middle, along with youngster Billy Gilmour.

Jorginho has been linked with a return to Italy, while there have been rumours claiming Barcelona and Real Madrid are interested in Kante. However, Aouar can hardly be seen as a replacement for either of the two. Even then, given his quality and versatility, he would be a great addition for the club.

Manchester City, on the other hand, will need to replace David Silva this summer, with the club captain set to depart once his contract runs out. While Phil Foden has been earmarked as the man to step into the Spaniard’s shoes, it makes sense for the Cityzens for more accomplished, experienced options to take over from the midfield maestro.

And while Aouar is not a lot older than Foden, the 21-year-old already has over 100 first-team appearances under his belt. In addition, his signing would also reduce some of the burden on the shoulders of Pep Guardiola’s star man Kevin De Bruyne.

Lyon value their prized asset at £45 million – a figure that shouldn’t prove too difficult for either Chelsea or City, even in the current scenario with finances affected. The report further adds that Serie A champions Juventus are also in the mix to sign Aouar.

A star in the making, Aouar seems set to kick off a bidding war once the transfer window opens. It now remains to be seen who comes out on top in the battle to secure the services of the 21-year-old.

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