Arsenal are reportedly set to make Toulouse full-back Serge Aurier their first summer signing, according to reports in the Daily Star.
The 21 year old has enjoyed an excellent season in France with his impressive displays down the right side earning him a place in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.
Bacary Sagna is expected to leave the Emirates this summer having failed to agree to a contract extension and his departure will leave a gaping hole on the right hand side of the Gunners defence.
However the report states that Arsene Wenger has already identified Ivory Coast international as the man to replace Sagna. The French club value him at £7 million and will be ready to do business if a bid comes in.
Aurier, who is a self confessed Gunners fan, has also confirmed that he has played his last game for the club and is keen on a move to either Arsenal or Paris Saint Germain. He said:
It has never been my priority (moving to a club in England). I prefer one that shows its commitment to me, who guarantees me playing time. I would not refuse Arsenal. This is a club that has a history, which has hosted many French-speakers who also have a French coach. Plus Arsenal is always looking for titles and playing in the Champions League.
It is certain that I would be a little disappointed to stay in Toulouse, especially after a season like this.
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It’s flattering to see clubs like Paris is interested in me. Today I finished my sixth season in Ligue 1 and I’d like to see something else: another championship with other emotions, a different mentality. I want to discover the winning culture, to win trophies.
The youngster is a versatile defender who can play both as a right wing back and also as a centre-half. He has excelled in both roles, but the wider position is definitely his better role, as his determination and tractor like engine helps him burst forward and support attacks. He likes to make regular over lapping runs on the wings and is capable of picking precise though ball or a dribbling past opponents.
He is also a tough-tackler and his robust nature means he comes off best more times than not. His offensive output is far greater than most full backs and his tally of six goals and six assists in his 34 League games this season is a testament to that and has been described as the Dani Alves of Ligue 1.
It would be sad to see Sagna leave, but Aurier would be a great replacement and at £7 million he would be a bargain for a player of his potential. He has not been the subject of much attention, but if we manage to pull off the coup of the Ivory Coast full-back then we will have a great prospect on our hands.
Is Aurier the perfect replacement for Sagna? Share your thoughts in the comments.