Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar could be at the centre of a transfer tug of war, with a number of top European clubs interested in signing him.
The 22-year-old has had an impressive season with the Ligue 1 side, helping them to a seventh-place finish in the league. After a brilliant campaign in his native France, he may well make a big move abroad in the transfer window.
According to L’Équipe, Manchester City, Juventus and Arsenal are all keen on signing Aouar. City manager Pep Guardiola is said to be a huge fan, and could still make a move despite signing Ferran Torres from Valencia earlier this week.
Lyon want at least €60m for Aouar, which would make him the club’s most expensive departure. OL would preferably like to sell him during the summer transfer window, though club president Jean-Michel Aulas would be content to keep him if they do not get suitable offers.
However, the French club may find it hard for their price tag to be met, amid the current global circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic is going to have financial implications on this summer’s transfer window, likely decreasing transfer fees amid uncertainty for clubs around Europe.
Aouar has been at Lyon since 2009, when he joined the academy aged 11. He has since risen through the ranks up to the first team, making his senior debut for Les Gones in a Europa League round of 32 tie in February 2017.
Having secured Champions League football for next season, City and Juventus could directly battle it out for Aouar’s signature. Although Arsenal qualified for the Europa League through their FA Cup win, the Frenchman may be eager to continue playing in Europe’s premier competition.
Aouar has nine goals and eight assist this season, playing in 86.7% of Lyon’s games this season. He played a crucial role in guiding OL to the Champions League quarter-finals, getting an assist in both legs as they beat Juventus on away goals.
Having progressed past Juve in the round of 16, Lyon will play Manchester City in the quarter-final on 15 August. It is their best Champions League campaign in 10 years, where they made it to the semi-finals before losing to Bayern Munich.