Aouar rejects Premier League move to remain at Lyon - GulfToday

Aouar rejects Premier League move to remain at Lyon


Lyon’s Houssem Aouar (left) challenges Marseille’s goalkeeper Steve Mandanda during their French League match on Sunday. Agence France-Presse

Paris: Lyon star Houssem Aouar explained his decision to snub interest from across Europe, insisting he has unfinished business at the Ligue 1 club.

Aouar was tipped to join Premier League side Arsenal, while the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Manchester City and Real Madrid were also linked. But the 22-year-old French midfielder will remain with the 2019-20 Champions League semi-finalists this season.

“[Why did I make] my choice to stay in Lyon?” Aouar said after scoring in Lyon’s 1-1 Ligue 1 draw against rivals Marseille on Sunday.

“I felt that I could still bring something to this team and to this club. That’s why I have made the choice to continue my adventure with Lyon. I hope we will get up and find our form again quickly.”

Aouar converted a 28th-minute penalty to cancel out Dimitri Payet’s opener three minutes earlier as Lyon and 10-man Marseille shared the spoils.

Lyon have struggled for form since their memorable run in the Champions League last season, managing just one win from six Ligue 1 fixtures this term to sit 14th in the table.

“We are very disappointed that we did not pick up the three points. This is really what we had to do. We had to win, especially after our recent results.

“I find it hard to explain why we were not better up front. We can make the gap but we miss the right pass or the right shot. It is something that must be improved as quickly as possible. It is not normal for us.”

Earlier, Rennes clung on to top spot in Ligue 1 after scrabbling to a 2-2 home with Reims which allowed Lille to move level on points with the leaders with a 3-0 win at Strasbourg. Rennes were leading at the break and were set to go back clear in first place but Boulaye Dia barged through the home defence before slotting home the goal that would give Reims a point in the 66th minute.

Lille meanwhile stormed to victory in Alsace thanks to goals from Zeki Celik, Renato Sanches and Burak Yilmaz which maintained their unbeaten start to the season. Both sides are on 14 points, one ahead of newly-promoted Lens, who drop down to third but are on a storming run after beating 10-time league champions Saint-Etienne 2-0 on Saturday.

Champions PSG meanwhile are lurking ominously a further point back in fourth after destroying Angers 6-1 on Friday night.


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