Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier looks to be on his way to Arsenal after he seemed to confirm the news to a fan before representing the Ivory Coast in a World Cup warm-up game against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday.
The 21-year-old has long been linked with a £7.5 million move to the Emirates, per Matthew Morlidge in the Daily Mail. These rumours increased after long-term Gunner Bacary Sagna confirmed his impending departure from north London, per French football writer Philippe Auclair:
Now it seems almost certain that the move is on after a fan posted the below video in which the young defender seemed to nod when asked: "Are you coming to Arsenal?"
Aurier has made no secret of his admiration for Arsene Wenger's side. Back in May he specifically singled out the Gunners in a discussion about Premier League clubs, per Eurosport France (via Morlidge's report):
I’ve never prioritised a club in England as even the promoted clubs are respectable. I will privilege the one that will show the most interest in me, that will give me the most game time. After that, you can’t really say no to Arsenal.
It’s a club with history, with a French manager, who has welcomed many Francophones. Plus, Arsenal are always thereabouts when it comes to trophies and a club that plays in the Champions League.
The former Lens player scored six goals and provided another half dozen assists as Toulouse finished ninth in Ligue 1 in the 2013-14 campaign, per WhoScored.com.
If any more hints were needed that Aurier is bound for the Emirates, he also retweeted the video following Ivory Coast's 2-1 loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Missouri.
Wenger would likely be eager to confirm the deal as early as possible in the transfer window to assure fans that Sagna's departure has been dealt with.
It is likely the Gunners will be very active in the summer transfer window as they look to make a real tilt at the title next season, and signing up the exciting full-back early on would be a good start.
One Arsenal target who may prove more difficult to snap up is Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado, who is reportedly of interest to Spanish giants Barcelona.
New Barca boss Luis Enrique is targeting the 26-year-old Colombian as he attempts to fashion his own squad, per Bruce Archer in the Daily Star.
Cuadrado bagged 11 goals and five assists as Fiorentina finished the Serie A season in fourth, per WhoScored.com.
Archer's report suggests the player is valued at around £20 million. That is certainly an affordable fee for Wenger, who has been handed £100 million for transfers over the summer, per Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mail.
However, it looks as though they will be in for a scrap with Barcelona, who are looking to improve after a trophy-less season in 2013-14.
Wenger needs to add genuine depth to his squad after Arsenal seemed to fade alarmingly last season, finishing fourth in the Premier League having topped the table early on.
While the Aurier deal looks on, losing out on Cuadrado would be a blow as he would constitute a signing of real quality. But Arsenal certainly look to be targeting the right calibre of players ahead of next season when they will look to contend both domestically and in Europe.