The Toulouse right-back’s agent denies an agreement has been reached, but the Gunners remain confident the defender will be among their first signings of the summer
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal are on the brink of agreeing a £7 million deal for Toulouse defender Serge Aurier, Goal understands.
The Gunners have held extensive talks with the French club about the fee to be paid for the right-back and are close to finalising the structure of payments.
Arsenal have not yet agreed personal terms with the 21-year-old, who is preparing for the World Cup with the Ivory Coast squad.
But the London club are confident of securing the player’s signature following the summer tournament.
Goal revealed earlier this month that Arsenal had opened preliminary talks with Toulouse over a move for Aurier after making the versatile right-back their top target to replace Bacary Sagna.
Arsene Wenger has also considered a move for Atletico Madrid’s Juanfran but appears to have settled for the considerably more youthful Aurier.
The Ivorian has impressed Wenger’s scouting team with his performances for Ligue 1 side Toulouse, providing a regular supply of goals and assists from his right-back berth. He can also fill in at left-back and centre-back, a position he held in many games during the recently completed domestic season.
Wenger wants deals in place for two new players before the World Cup, even if the formalities are not completed until after the event.
Aurier’s agent Stephane Courbis has told French radio station RMC that Arsenal have held discussions over a move for his client but denied that an agreement had been reached and claimed another Premier League club were pursuing the player.
Nevertheless, Arsenal are increasingly confident that Aurier will be one of their first summer signings as Wenger steps up plans to strengthen his squad.
Given his age, the likelihood is that Aurier will battle it out with Carl Jenkinson, 22, for a starting role at Emirates Stadium next season.
Sagna, meanwhile, is expected to join Manchester City after being offered a lucrative three-year deal during talks in Manchester earlier this month.