Arsenal have reportedly identified Houssem Aouar as a fallback option, should they fail in their pursuit of top target James Maddison.
If reports from The Sun are to be believed, Arsenal have identified 23-year-old French international Houssem Aouar as a last resort option. While the Lyon midfielder remains a top target, the club is determined to replace Joe Willock in a stylistic sense.
In that regard, James Maddison and Martin Odegaard are better-suited options, with the Gunners working on a deal to sign at least one of them on a permanent deal. But should they fail in their attempt to sign either of the two, they are likely to turn their attention back on Aouar.
The French international was one of the club’s top targets last summer, but Lyon had reportedly turned down a sizable bid. The move proved to be a costly one as Aouar’s valuation has dropped sharply this summer owing to the financial crisis inflicted by the pandemic as well as the poor 2020/21 campaign that saw the youngster fail to even get selection for France’s Euro 2020 squad.
Aouar’s drop in form has forced Arsenal to reconsider as well, with the north London giants primarily interested in other options the market has to offer. One of them is James Maddison, the Leicester City starlet whose future at the club remains uncertain. Arsenal are evidently interested in roping in the English international but have not been able to match the Foxes’ valuation.
The same applies to Odegaard, although it appears the Gunners are prepared to fork out €50 million for the Real Madrid playmaker. The Norwegian international had played for Arsenal during the second half of last season, enjoying a successful stint at Emirates before returning to Santiago Bernabeu in the summer.
With Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, it remains to be seen whether a bid of €50 million will be enough to convince Los Blancos to sanction the sale of the talented number ten.
But one thing is for certain; Arsenal will revisit every possible option before they settle for the services of Houssem Aouar. The 23-year-old midfielder is not the most in-demand player in France at the moment, and his poor 2020/21 season may end up costing him the opportunity to join a Premier League club this summer.