Transfer News: Arsenal told to cough up €60 million for Houssem Aouar

Olympique Lyonnais have set an asking price of €60 million on Houssem Aouar, with Arsenal chasing the Frenchman’s signature.

According to a reputed journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are keen to secure the services of Houssem Aouar, with Olympique Lyonnais slapping a €60 million price tag on the Frenchman.

Aouar came through Lyon’s youth academy and got his breakthrough in the 2016/17 campaign, making three cameo appearances after which he was promoted to the senior team. He went on to become a mainstay for Lyon starting the next season and started gaining the attention of big teams in the continent. Patience has turned out to be his friend, though.

In 2018/19, Aouar rose as one of their best players in a Lyon team that had the world watching. He ended the season with seven goals and seven assists, playing in several positions across the pitch including the left-wing.

He did not quite mirror his performances last season, but still came in strongly with three goals and four assists in the league in the absence of star-forward Memphis Depay.

Aouar did, however, display some world-class performances in the Champions League against Juventus in the Round of 16, providing the assist in the first leg, and then winning the penalty in the second. In the quarter-finals, he assisted Moussa Dembele to take the lead against Manchester City. He was the cornerstone of Lyon as they reached the semi-finals on the biggest stage of all.

Arsenal are showing their interest in Houssem Aouar as they look to sign Lyon's rising star next summer. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)
Arsenal are showing their interest in Houssem Aouar as they look to sign Lyon’s rising star this summer. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

He was initially linked with a move to Manchester City and Chelsea – both rumours that died out as soon as they started. As it stands, Arsenal and Juventus are in the race to sign the 22-year-old.

Romano also mentioned that Arsenal had initially offered Matteo Guendouzi as part of the swap to bring in Aouar, but the proposal was turned down by the French club. Consequently, Lyon have slapped a price tag of €60 million on their academy talent and ruled out any swap deals.

Arsenal seem to have reformed themselves under Mikel Arteta, but they lack a creative influence in the final third who can not only conduct play but weave in the defence-splitting pass now and then.

This would not only take some responsibilities off Alexandre Lacazette, but it would also give some mental rest to the likes of Dani Ceballos, Bukayo Saka, and Kieran Tierney – players who were Arsenal’s primary creators last season.

Lyon, on the other hand, are set to lose two of their best players in a single transfer window after Depay agreed on personal terms with FC Barcelona, who are leading a new life under the coaching of Ronald Koeman. The money from both these transfers could prove to be very useful for Lyon during a Coronavirus hit market.

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