Arsenal Transfer News: Sebastien Corchia Eyed Amid Fresh Hector Bellerin Rumours

Alex KebleFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2017

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 7: Sebastien Corchia of Lille and Angel Di Maria of PSG in action during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lille OSC (LOSC) at Parc des Princes stadium on February 7, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly considering an approach for Lille right-back Sebastien Corchia, who could be a long-term replacement for Hector Bellerin.

Per Robin Bairner of Goal, Corchia is reportedly keen to play European football and, with only 12 months remaining on his contract, may be available at a cut price.

Lille are currently languishing in 11th place in Ligue 1 and far short of a European spot, with Corchia arguably one of their best performers this campaign. The full-back, who made his France debut in November 2016, has started all 35 of Lille's league matches this season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30:  Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 30, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

But after more than 300 games in the top division of French football, he is reportedly interested in moving countries and finding a club that competes in continental competitions.

Corchia fits the mould of a Wenger player, being capable defensively but favouring a more aggressive attacking approach, not dissimilar to Bellerin's playing style.

Barcelona remain firmly interested in signing the Arsenal defender and reportedly believe that the "sporting crisis" at the north London club will work in their favour when negotiations begin this summer, per Tomas Andreu for Sport

However, there is no indication that Wenger's pursuit of Corchia depends upon Bellerin's future. Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy are reportedly set to be sold this summer, per Bairner, meaning Arsenal will only have one senior right-back. Calum Chambers, on loan at Middlesbrough, and Rob Holding can both play in this position but are more comfortable in a central role.

Tim Ireland/Associated Press

What's more, Barcelona are looking into alternatives to Bellerin should the move become untenable. Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen right-back Benjamin Henrichs are two alternatives being seriously considered by Barca, according to Lluis Miguelsanz of Sport.

Corchia, then, could be a cheap backup option for Arsenal or become their first-choice defender by the beginning of 2017-18. As a veteran of Ligue 1, he is certainly experienced enough to join the Premier League, but the 26-year-old cannot reach the heights of Bellerin.