Lyon sporting director Juninho has been discussing the future of sought-after midfielder Houssem Aouar, admitting that the French side have held negotiations with Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester City.
The 22-year-old has shot to fame this season, becoming one of the most fancied prospects in European football, as well as starring in Lyon's shock victory over the Cityzens in the Champions League quarter-finals.
A queue of European giants is forming to land Aouar in the summer transfer window, and Lyon's sporting director Juninho has been fielding plenty of calls in relation to Les Gones' talisman.
The Brazilian confessed to RMC Sport that one of the interested parties was Premier League side Arsenal. He stated that Gunners coach Mikel Arteta 'really appreciates' the midfielder, while admitting that negotiations had taken place, involving a potential swap deal for Matteo Guendouzi.
“I get along very well with the sports director (Edu). We spoke on the phone. Arteta really appreciates Houssem Aouar.
"There were some discussions for Matteo Guendouzi who is also a good player. He was mentioned during the discussion. But this is not the profile that we need, we were very clear. If it is like that, it does not interest us at all, so we stopped.”
Another English club chasing the Frenchman's signature is former champions City. Juninho believes that Pep Guardiola is also a huge admirer of Aouar, but claimed that they 'haven't received an official offer' from the Sky Blues.
“I think it happened directly with the agents. We were not contacted directly. Maybe Vincent Ponsot (general manager) was contacted by Manchester City, I’m not sure.
"It’s like that with these two teams, they are two huge teams that play to win the CL every year, they have the capacity for that and that makes every player dream. I don’t know if Houssem is ready to change plans for a great Ligue 1 team like PSG.
"For City, of course Guardiola appreciates the player, but is that the profile they are looking for today? We don’t know either and we haven’t received an official offer.”
So, Aouar's future remains at Lyon for the moment - but a bidding war between Arsenal and Man City could be imminent.
Source : 90min