Chelsea have reportedly suffered a transfer blow as they will face competition from Barcelona for the signing of Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.
The 20-year-old has impressed so far this season, bagging six goals and providing five assists in 33 appearances across all competitions.
In turn, it’s no real surprise that he is attracting interest from around Europe, with Calciomercato noting, via L’Equipe, that Barcelona have joined Chelsea in plotting a move for the talented youngster.
Both sides could arguably do with bolstering their midfield options, particularly Chelsea with boss Maurizio Sarri relying heavily on the likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and loanee Mateo Kovacic so far this season.
Whether or not the Italian tactician is still in charge beyond this summer remains to be seen given Chelsea’s current form, but it remains an area in which the Blues could improve.
Should Kovacic return to Real Madrid as expected, coupled with the lack of playing time given to the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, it will surely leave the Premier League giants needing quality depth.
As for Barcelona, club stalwarts such as Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are now on the wrong side of 30 along with Arturo Vidal, and so Aouar could prove to be a long-term replacement if a deal can be struck with Lyon.
Time will tell who wins this potential transfer battle, but the mere fact that Chelsea are reportedly going to have to fend off Barcelona if they are eager to sign Aouar will certainly make life more difficult for them in terms of convincing the France U21 international to snub the Catalan giants in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge.