Serie A giants Roma and outgoing Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar are reportedly in ‘concrete’ talks over a summer deal, according to Fabrizio Romano.
While the 24-year-old seemed one step away from joining Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt not long ago, negotiations have dragged on, giving the Giallorossi a window of opportunity to react.
For years, the Italians have had a genuine interest in Aouar. But Lyon’s reluctance to sell their homegrown star in a cut-price deal was a sticking point only last summer.
However, the versatile midfielder has tumbled down the pecking order at the Groupama Stadium this term and will leave his boyhood club at the end of the season as a free agent.
The player, who’s decided to represent Algeria over France, has made only 12 appearances in Ligue 1, with Les Gones boss Laurent Blanc preferring Rayan Cherki and Maxence Caqueret over him.
Roma have already established contact with Aouar’s representatives to understand the margins of the deal as Jose Mourinho looks to add to his midfield options in the summer.
It’s still uncertain whether the Giallorossi will sign Georginio Wijnaldum permanently after the Dutchman endured an injury-hit season at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Paris Saint-Germain loanee recently recovered from a long-term knee injury and has quickly become one of Mourinho’s first-team regulars at the expense of veteran midfielder Nemanja Matic.
Known for his excellent passing ability, vision and creativity, Aouar is equally adept at playing in a deep-lying playmaker role or as a more advanced attacking midfielder.
He would be a significant coup for Roma if the deal goes, especially considering the Italians wouldn’t have to spend a penny to capture his services.
A couple of years ago, signing a player of Aouar’s talent and lustre would’ve been a statement of intent, but even now, the Lyon man could help take the Giallorossi to the next level.