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Houssem Aouar set to play for Algeria over France

Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has chosen to switch his allegiance from France to Algeria, according to L’Equipe.

Despite having one cap for Les Bleus, the 24-year-old has decided to play for the Desert Warriors. The news will excite the African nation as they have chased him for a while.

Aouar played once for France in a 2020 friendly match against Ukraine and has not received a call-up since then. Because it was not a competitive game, he could switch to playing for Algeria, where his parents are natives.

Algeria have been coveting the talented central midfielder, hoping he would eventually choose them over France, and they have achieved their goal.

However, Aouar will likely not debut for Algeria during this international break. He is only returning from an injury and will not be 100% fit.

Algeria take on Niger later this month, looking to put themselves in a stronger position to qualify for the 2024 African Cup of Nations. He could make his debut in later international games.

Aouar has also been the subject of plenty of interest in club football. The France-born midfielder is in the final year of his contract and can walk away on a free transfer from his boyhood club.

He has interest from four of the top five leagues. Eintracht Frankfurt, Leicester City, Real Betis, AC Milan, Benfica, Napoli and AS Roma want to take him on a free transfer.

Aouar wanted to leave Lyon last summer, but despite the club setting a cheap price tag, there were no takers. Clubs would rather wait for his deal to expire and sign him for free.

It is unclear where Aouar will end up after leaving Les Gones. Despite the interest of all these clubs, he wants to join a team playing in the Champions League.

Any potential suitors will be wary of his niggling injuries that have prevented him from kicking on since his breakout campaign in 2018.

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