Transfer News: Arsenal set to rival Barcelona in pursuit of Houssem Aouar

Arsenal are reportedly interested in Olympique Lyonnais youngster Houssem Aouar and are set to rival Barcelona in pursuit of the midfielder.

According to The Sun, Arsenal are reportedly keen on Olympique Lyonnais youngster Houssem Aouar. The Lyon midfielder has been on the radar of Barcelona for a while now. But, it seems the Catalans now have competition in pursuit of the player, with the Gunners entering the race as well.

Houssem Aouar has really come into his own in the middle of the park for Lyon this season. The player had already received his senior break in the 2016-17 campaign. But, the present season is where he has really started embarking on the journey of being a midfield superstar.

A return of 3 goals and 2 assists in 13 Ligue 1 appearances is decent for an out-and-out central midfielder, with Aouar trusted to keep the game ticking and he is more involved in buildup rather than the final third. Barcelona’s need to strengthen the midfield with the next generation has seen them scout various up-and-coming stars.

Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets are the last stalwarts left of the old guard in midfield. Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes seem to be taking too much time to settle in at the Nou Camp. And while many thought Paulinho’s addition would beef up the midfield, the Brazilian has been more useful and productive when deployed in a more attacking area.

Barcelona had already opened talks with Aouar’s representatives with the plan of pursuing the player in the summer. But, they may have to speed things up, with Arsenal entering the fray as well. The Gunners are also in search of additions to their midfield, especially with a mass squad shuffle expected in the summer.

Aouar has so far, given ample evidence of his technical ability, which is one of the primary necessities in order to take the field for either Arsenal or Barcelona. Arsenal could also gain an upper hand in negotiations as well, having already done a deal with Lyon – Alexandre Lacazette’s transfer to Arsenal for a club record fee.

Lacazette’s transfer has proven to be well worth the money so far, with the Frenchman already scoring 8 goals in just 18 appearances for the Gunners. While there is still almost half a season left, the striker is in the running for the Golden Boot in the Premier League, with many placing their bets on the Arsenal hitman.

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The instant success found with Lacazette’s deal could see Arsenal push to bring Aouar over to Emirates as well. A deal in January though, looks highly unlikely for either party.

Lyon are currently in the top four and very much still in the title race. And the French outfit will not allow any of their key players to leave mid-season. Aouar himself, would also love to get a full season under his belt before considering a move to a team of a higher stature.

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