Real Madrid have joined the race for Arsenal transfer target Houssem Aouar, according to reports. And that will be a huge blow to Mikel Arteta, who has spent the summer hoping to recruit the France international. Unfortunately for the Gunners, their La Liga rivals have three advantages when it comes to a potential transfer. So Express Sport will take a look at why a move to the Bernabeu now looks likelier than a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Champions League football
Should Aouar move to Arsenal, he’d be playing in the Europa League this season. The Gunners finished eighth in the Premier League table last term and only qualified for the competition by winning the FA Cup.
However, Real Madrid could offer him Champions League football instead.
That’s a huge pull for any player and Los Blancos can also guarantee being in a position to win the trophy, having dominated the competition in recent years.
Real won the title in 2014 under Carlo Ancelotti, beating Atletico Madrid 4-1 in a dramatic final where Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were both on target.
And they’ve dominated under Zinedine Zidane, winning it three years on the trot between 2016 and 2018.
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Zinedine Zidane himself
Aouar, like many French players, grew up watching Zidane.
The Real Madrid boss was sensational as a player and, prior to Kaka’s move to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009, was the costliest transfer of all time.
And that’s another disadvantage for Arsenal.
Aouar would likely relish the chance to play under his childhood hero and, last year, admitted the Real Madrid boss was the one who ‘made me fall in love with football.’
While Arteta has done well at Arsenal, playing under Zidane at Real Madrid is a different pulling power altogether – and represents another obstacle for the Gunners to overcome.
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Another advantage for Real Madrid is that they have a special relationship with Lyon, having done business with the Ligue 1 giants many times over the years.
Los Blancos signed Mahamadou Diarra from Lyon in the summer transfer window of 2016, before then landing Karim Benzema three years later.
Real brought Mariano Diaz back to the Bernabeu from Lyon in 2017.
And, just last year, the La Liga giants snapped up Ferland Mendy.
Therefore, Real’s past dealings with Lyon would set them in good stead when it comes to beating Arsenal to Aouar’s signature.
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Arsenal and Real Madrid not alone
Arsenal and Real Madrid aren’t the only clubs interested in signing Aouar.
Lyon’s domestic rivals Paris Saint-Germain are also keen, with director Leonardo saying: “Right now it is a bit complicated, he is interesting a lot of clubs.
“He is a dream for us.”
PSG are unlikely to sign Aouar, however.
Last season’s Champions League finalists are having to operate in the loan market, with the club’s finances impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
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