The Champions League

Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan contact Houssem Aouar

Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan want to sign Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Houssem Aouar on a free transfer this summer, according to Foot Mercato.

Aouar has been sidelined by Lyon boss Peter Bosz after refusing to sign a contract renewal. Atletico and Inter have now made concrete approaches to sign him as a free agent.

Aouar did not leave his childhood club, Lyon, this summer despite being close to doing so. Lyon were prepared to let him walk and even set an affordable €15 million price. However, most suitors were unwilling to pay for the one-time French international.

Benfica, Real Betis, Fulham, Sevilla, Leicester City, OGC Nice, and Nottingham Forest expressed their interest in signing Aouar, but a move never materialised.

Nottingham Forest were the closest to signing him at one point, and a deal looked imminent, but negotiations broke down.

Lyon refused to allow Aouar back into the squad despite the club performing poorly on the pitch. Even after the departure of Lucas Paqueta, there was still no way back into the team for the 24-year-old.

With his contract expiring in June, clubs can approach Aouar from January 1, and he will have top clubs to choose from.

With his club refusing to play him despite being injury free, the chance to sign for consistent UEFA Champions League sides like Inter and Atletico will be tempting.

On the pitch, this season has not been smooth sailing for Lyon. Despite the potential within the squad, they continue to frustrate. Bosz is under pressure, and he has to get them firing.

They have not won any of their last four games, with the defeat to high-flying Lens particularly jarring for the Rhone club. They sit seventh in Ligue 1.

Despite the underperformance, Jean-Michel Aulas is sticking with Bosz for now.

Bosz and Lyon have the chance to turn things around when they face Toulouse this weekend. This is another game Aouar might have to watch from the bench or in the stands.

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