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Media Watch: Lyon midfield star linked, Mertens closing in on new deal, two ex-Blues tipped for Hall of Fame

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing midfielder Hossem Aouar from Lyon, there is an update on the future of a player heavily linked with the Blues in January and Glen Johnson names two former Chelsea team-mates as possible candidates for the Premier League Hall of Fame.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Blues tracking Lyon star

According to the Sun, Chelsea have joined Juventus and Manchester City in the race to sign Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this summer.

Citing a report by Tuttomercatoweb, the paper indicates there is plenty of interest in the 21-year-old, who has scored nine goals in 34 games for Lyon this season.

‘It is said the Blues have already put together a bid of £43million for the Frenchman and that discussions between the various parties are underway,’ states the paper.
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‘Interest in Aouar is high with Juventus interested - and he provided the assist for Lyon’s shock 1-0 win over the Old Lady on Wednesday night.

‘Manchester City have also been linked thanks to Pep Guardiola's long-term admiration of the player.’

Born in Lyon, Aouar has represented France at Under-17 and Under-21 levels but is also eligible to play for Algeria through his ancestry.


Mertens may stay at Napoli

The Daily Mail indicates Dries Mertens, who was reportedly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last month, could be signing a new contract at Napoli.

The Belgian forward has been with the Serie A side since 2013 but with his current deal expiring this summer, there is speculation he could be heading to the Premier League on a free transfer with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all linked with the 32-year-old.

However, it appears he may remain at Napoli after he became the club’s joint all-time top scorer with Marek Hamsik this week with his 121st goal in a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League.

‘Napoli have made big strides in their bid to tie down Mertens to a new contract as he edges ever closer to the expiry of his current deal,’ states the report.

‘Calcio Mercato report that Mertens' representatives have made it clear to club president Aurelio de Laurentiis why Mertens is yet to sign a new deal, detailing three reasons.

‘Mertens wants a three-year deal, but could yet accept two, and there are issues with the fixed salary and the signing-on fee.’


Johnson names two Blues for Hall of Fame consideration

Glen Johnson feels two of his former Chelsea team-mates should be considered for the Premier League’s new Hall of Fame after including John Terry and Petr Cech in his shortlist of five, according to TalkSport.

The Premier League revealed plans on Thursday to launch its own Hall of Fame, stating it would ‘recognise and celebrate the exceptional skill and talent of players who have graced the competition since its inception in 1992’.

The first two inductees will be revealed on 19 March, along with a shortlist of nominees who will be voted for by fans to join the Hall of Fame.

Asked to name five players who deserve to join this elite group, Johnson named Terry and Cech, along with Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.

While the former England full-back was questioned for not including ex-Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer, Johnson explained he was looking for a balanced list of candidates in his list.

‘Well, this five could change every 30 seconds, that’s the problem!’ he said.

‘I’ve picked these five not just going for strikers, I’ve tried to get a few positions in there.

‘Shearer could be in there, of course he could, but if I could only pick one striker it’s got to be Henry.’

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