Arsenal have reportedly opened talks with Auxerre over their striker Paul-Georges Ntep, with a view of making a transfer offer for the player in January, according to reports in the Express.
The 21 year old forward has five goals in his last six appearances for the France Under-21 side, and has been heavily linked with Spurs, Villa, St Etienne and Lille.
The report states that the Gunners have entered preliminary talks over an £8.5 million deal for the Cameroon-born starlet, but are set to face competition for the player’s services from fellow Premier League rivals. Auxerre are currently struggling financially and need to make at least one decent sale in January to help balance the books.
Arsenal are considered favourites to land the French Under-21 youngster ahead of other parties, mainly due to manager Arsene Wenger’s connections with Auxerre in the past, most recently acquiring Yaya Sanogo on a free during the summer.
Paul was born in Cameroon and moved to France at the age of eight. He began his career at US Ris Orangis and spent two years at the club and then signed with CS Bretigny Foot, which trained French internationals Patrice Evra and Jimmy Briand. He impressed Auxerre club coaches and was offered a three-day trial with professional club Auxerre, after the trail he signed on an internship contract.
He has spent his entire senior career with the French 2nd division club making 54 appearances for the senior side and B team, scoring 11 goals in the process. He’s played for France at four different levels and has scored seven goals for his country.
Ntep is a natural attacker capable of playing in all areas of the final third. He is two footed and can play on either wing. He started off as a striker, but Auxerre have been using him out wide more this season. He has great pace, flair, skill and his versatility as a forward is a huge asset. He also has a remarkably high energy level, and he will relentlessly run at defences time and time again. The standard of his crossing has improved significantly since he has switched to the wings more, while he has retained a fine finishing touch when required.
Arsenal still have their eye on other targets with Benzema being at the top of the list. His signing might not impress many fans but looks a bright prospect for the future. The price quoted by the report is perhaps a little excessive, a more reason fee would be in the region of £3-4 million.
Should we sign him? Share your thoughts in the comments below?