Houssem Aouar has signed a five-year contract at Roma to become the club’s first summer signing, as announced by the Giallorossi website.

Reports from early May suggested the Italians had struck a verbal agreement with the versatile midfielder to join them upon the expiry of his contract at Lyon.

Only a month on, and the deal is official, with Aouar sharing his thoughts about the opportunity to embark on a new career in Serie A.

“I’m very happy to have signed for Roma, because they’re a great club with a great history,”

“I think it’s the right project for me, with a big team, quality players and a unique fanbase. I’m now a Giallorossi player and I’m ready to go.”

He told the club’s website.

For years, Aouar has been considered one of Europe’s finest talents, but former Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas did everything he could to prevent his departure.

Arsenal, AC Milan and Juventus were among the numerous prominent suitors knocking on the Groupama Stadium door over the years, only for Aulas to fend them off.

But what arguably more recognised interested parties failed to achieve, Roma have pulled off in the early days of the summer to give Jose Mourinho his first signing ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

Aouar’s arrival could be only the beginning, as the Italians plan to provide the Special One with enough ammunition to contest Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli for the Serie A title next season.

Mourinho was expected to leave the Stadio Olimpico following the Europa League heartbreak against Sevilla, but the club chief Dan Friedkin is hellbent on having him stay.

Reinforcing a depleted Giallorossi squad is the only incentive to convince the Portuguese boss to renew his contract in Rome. And Friedkin seems to be taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal.

Aouar came through the youth ranks at Lyon before making his senior debut in 2017.

He has since made 179 Ligue 1 appearances for Les Gones, netting 30 goals and adding 24 assists.

The Frenchman should be a long-term replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who returned to Paris Saint-Germain following his injury-hit season-long loan at Roma.

Source: Football Today

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