Houssem Aouar has seen moves to Arsenal and Manchester City mooted, but the highly rated Lyon playmaker has told those asking questions of his future: “I haven’t left yet”.
Various landing spots have been mooted for the 22-year-old midfielder since he broke onto the scene at Lyon. He has remained loyal to his Ligue 1 employers as others have departed, but the current window could be the one where he finally departs.
Lyon, despite making the Champions League semi-finals in 2019-20, have no European football to look forward to in the upcoming campaign. That is leaving them vulnerable to raids, with several prized assets attracting admiring glances.
Aouar falls into that category, with leading sides across the continent keeping a close eye on his situation.
Premier League giants are said to be heading that queue, as the likes of Arsenal and Man City mull over moves to bring more creativity into their ranks, but no deals have been done yet.
Quizzed by L’Equipe on whether he would find it difficult to bid farewell to Lyon at a time in which he would be denied the opportunity to say goodbye to fans amid coronavirus-enforced shutouts, Aouar said: “I haven’t left yet. So I haven’t asked this question.”
The youngster remained coy when asked about his international ambition. A first call-up to the senior France squad has been secured, with Didier Deschamps eager to offer Aouar a prominent stage on which to shine.
Regular football in familiar surroundings could help to keep him in contention for Les Bleus heading towards a rearranged European Championship in 2021.
Asked if those thoughts have entered his head, Aouar repeated: “I haven't left yet!”
With the Lyon starlet giving little away, the line of questioning was tweaked a little. Rather than pressing the issue of what could happen, Aouar was instead asked what he would like to do.
He replied: “That one is very tough. I want us to start the league well, and that we beat Dijon, to start with.”
Lyon are set to open their 2020-21 campaign on Friday with a home date against Dijon.