Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has talked up Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola amid speculation he could join the Premier League champions during the summer transfer window.
Aouar was asked by Canal Plus (h/t Goal's Ryan Benson) if he would be interested in playing for the Citizens and made it clear how highly he rated the club's manager:
"You wouldn't like to go to City? It is a great European club and all players have this urge to play for the biggest European clubs, which in addition is led by Guardiola, who for me is a reference as a coach. Guardiola has seen everything before. It is extremely good to play his teams and that's what I like, his way of seeing football."
However, Aouar also added he is "still under contract with Lyon" and wants to discuss the role he will have after the end of the season.
The Lyon midfielder is one of four players Manchester City are considering bringing to the Etihad Stadium in the summer, according to Jack Gaughan at the Daily Mail. They're also targeting Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri, Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic and Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt.
Aouar has come up through the academy at Lyon and was handed the iconic No. 8 shirt while just 19. The number was previously worn by Juninho Pernambucano, who has returned to the club as sporting director:
The 20-year-old is an exciting prospect, capable of playing in a variety of roles in midfield. His impressive performances this season saw him nominated for the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award:
Aouar was part of the Lyon side that beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad and drew 2-2 at home in the group stages of this season's Champions League.
French football writer Matt Spiro explained after the draw in France why Guardiola may be tempted to land the youngster:
Meanwhile, Goal's Robin Bairner says Manchester City have been interested in the midfielder for some time:
Aouar is certainly one of the most exciting young midfielders in France, and it won't be surprising to see clubs express an interest in him this summer.
His latest comments suggest that if Manchester City did come calling, it may not take much to tempt him into joining Guardiola's treble-winning team.