Crystal Palace are reportedly interested in signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this summer, and the Frenchman could be a superb prospective addition to Patrick Vieira’s squad.
According to French news outlet L’Equipe, the Eagles are attempting to hijack Nottingham Forest‘s move for the 24-year-old, despite the Midlands club already agreeing personal terms with the midfielder.
However, the Reds are yet to meet Lyon’s €15m (£13m) valuation for Aouar and have just spent £42.5m on Morgan Gibbs-White, which could open the door for Palace to sign the Lyon dynamo.
Only last summer, Aouar was attracting the interest of some of the top clubs in Europe after his impressive performances for Lyon, with many of the top six finishers in the Premier League being linked with him.
Despite another impressive season with the Ligue 1 club which saw the midfielder contribute six goals and four assists in the French top flight, averaging a 6.93 rating from WhoScored for his performances, it seems as if Lyon are willing to let him go this summer.
The France international’s contract with Les Gones is set to expire at the end of this season, which goes some way towards explaining his £13m asking price. That is undoubtedly a bargain when you consider that the club reportedly wanted £44m for him just two years ago.
Pep Guardiola is a big fan of Aouar and sang his praises ahead of a Champions League tie in 2018, saying: “We talk a lot about Ndombele, but Aouar is also excellent. He’s always very calm with the ball at his feet, with excellent technical quality. Lyon really has a very good team. There are young people full of quality and I think the team is in place tactically.”
While his reputation has faltered slightly since then, the 24-year-old has still remained a regular at Lyon, starting 29 league matches last term, and he could definitely add some quality to Palace’s midfield should he make the move to Selhurst Park.
The midfielder averaged 2.1 shots per game last season, the same amount as Wilfried Zaha, who registered the most in Palace’s squad in the Premier League. He also averaged 1.2 key passes per game, which again was better than every Eagles player other than the talismanic Zaha.
At just 24, Aouar still has plenty of time to fulfil his potential, and Vieira would surely love to have such a talented and sought-after midfielder join his squad before the transfer window closes.