Newcastle interested in Houssem Aouar

Newcastle United are believed to be interested in signing Lyon midfielder, Houssem Aouar, although the Magpies are set to face competition for the Frenchman’s signature.

What’s the word?

According to La Repubblica, the Tynesiders are one of the clubs who are keen on signing the 24-year-old, with the playmaker facing an uncertain future in France with his existing deal set to expire in the summer.

The one-cap gem – who was reportedly close to a move to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest in the recent window – is said to have no ‘shortage of offers from the Premier League‘, with the long list of suitors hoping to strike a pre-contract agreement in January.

The report does suggest that Serie A giants AC Milan have made a move to sign the 5 foot 9 sensation, although it is unclear at present if the St James’ Park outfit have also made an approach for his services.

Imagine him and Bruno

Eddie Howe and co could well replicate their previous transfer masterclass earlier this year by signing another Lyon talent, having reaped the rewards of bringing in Bruno Guimaraes from the Ligue 1 side back in January.

The Brazilian sensation – who has been dubbed “world-class” by teammate Dan Burn – has made a smooth transition to life in English football thus far, scoring eight goals and laying on three assists in just 31 games for the northeast side in 2022.

The highly-regarded asset has been integral to a side that is now chasing Champions League qualification after a rampant start to the new season, with that quest for the top four no doubt set to be bolstered by the addition of a player that Guimaraes knows all about in former teammate, Aouar.

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The latter man has been a real creative presence for his current side over the years – operating in a midfield berth or on the flanks – having scored 41 goals and laid on 35 assists in 221 club appearances to date.

While it has proven something of a frustrating season thus far for the £8.7m-rated ace due to injury – scoring once in just six league outings – the midfield maestro is a player who has been earmarked for big things over the years, having previously been dubbed “incredible” by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Bringing the contract rebel to Newcastle could well see Howe form a stellar duo involving the creative ace in a more advanced midfield role alongside the deep-lying Guimaraes, with the two men offering real quality both in and out of possession.

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That is evidenced by the fact that Aouar ranks in the top 7% for interceptions made and the top 8% for tackles made among those in his position in Europe, while his former colleague ranks in the top 3% for tackles made, as a marker of their ball-winning talent.

Equally, the current Magpies ace averages 4.94 progressive passes per game, while Aouar is only just behind having averaged 4.27 for the same metric, showcasing their knack for initiating attacks with an incisive forward pass.

Having two such dynamic figures in their ranks could well only help Howe’s men to further improve in the New Year, with that a truly mouthwatering and incredible prospect as far as the club and its supporters are concerned.