Liverpool closely monitoring €45m-rated French midfielder

The Merseyside giants are at the front of the queue for Houssem Aouar’s signature after Arsenal’s move for Lyon playmaker reached a standstill, according to reports in France.

Arsenal failed with a £32m offer to land France international ahead of the 2020/21 season with Lyon demanding €60m at the time, and the Gunners returned with another unsuccessful offer for the midfielder this summer.

Arsenal have since dropped their pursuit of Houssem and appear to have turned their attention to other midfield targets, with Anderlecht teenager Albert Sambi Lokonga joining for a fee of £17m this week.

The Spanish manager is keen to bring another midfielder to Arsenal in addition to Sambi before the transfer window closes but France international is no longer thought to be at the top of their wishlist.

Earlier this summer, Lyon had been prepared to sell Houssem for a fee of only €20-25m but their position has changed drastically following the arrival of new manager Peter Bosz. The Ligue 1 club are now demanding €30-35m which could see the 23-year-old midfielder priced out of a summer move away from the Groupama Stadium.

The report indicates that a switch to Anfield remains the ‘greatest possibility’ as the German boss scours the market a long-term successor to Gini Wijnaldum, who joined PSG on a free transfer earlier this month.

It’s claimed Lyon’s increased asking price would not be a concern for Liverpool and the Reds are unlikely to face any further contest from Arsenal for Houssem. Man United have been linked with the French midfielder, who has been capped once by Didier Deschamps, but Man United’s interest stays just that for the time being