Arsenal are reportedly closing in on the signing of Toulouse defender Serge Aurier, who is set to sign a five-year deal, according to reports in Italy.
The Gunners currently have Bacary Sagna as their first choice right-back, but the Frenchman’s contract at the Emirates runs out at the end of the season and he has reportedly refused to sign an extension, despite the north London side offering him several new deals.
Arsene Wenger has recently hinted that Sagna may leave the club at the end of the season while admitting that the Gunners will respond if he leaves. He said:
That is not close to be closed. I will have to accept it [if Sagna leaves]. Only he can decide that now. If he goes we will accept it and respond.
The report states that Aurier is close to completing a move to the Emirates and the Gunners have already agreed a five-year-deal that will get the go-ahead when Sagna decides on his next move.
The 21 year old is a self confessed Gunners fan, he was photographed last summer in an Arsenal replica shirt and has also revealed that it will be hard to turn down an offer from the the North London club. He said:
You cannot refuse Arsenal. You can ask any player if he would play for Arsenal and I think he would respond positively without hesitation. It is certain that Arsenal is a dream.
He 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 pace helps him burst forward and support the attack. This season he has scored five goals and provided six assists despite playing in defence and his goals demonstrate he has strong aerial ability. He has become a regular member of the Toulouse side in Ligue 1 and already has seven caps for his country.
He would fit well with Arsenal’s attacking mindset. He is a strong and powerful runner and enjoys advancing up the field. He is being tipped to replace Sagna, but even if the Frenchman changes his mind and accepts a new contract, Aurier would still be a great investment for the Gunners, who desperately need to add depth to their squad. He may be exactly the sort of player Arsenal need to add pace to their back line.
The report seems somewhat exaggerated to me and while the deal is likely not done and won’t be for some time, it wouldn’t be surprising if Aurier were an Arsenal player next season.
Should we sign him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.