Serge Aurier has confirmed that Arsenal did in fact make a bid to sign him before eventually choosing to pursue Mathieu Debuchy.
The Ivory Coast international is renowned for being a massive Arsenal fan and has been pictured with large amounts of Gunners memorabilia in the past. For a while it seemed as if his dream move would materialise.
Speculation regarding a move to Arsenal started at the end of the season and gathered momentum as the 21-year-old impressed at the World Cup. A £7 million deal seemed imminent, but Arsene Wenger eventually chose to sign Frenchman Debuchy from Newcastle in a £12 million deal.
Aurier confirmed there was a bid, but the move failed to materialise. He now stands on the edge of a move to PSG, but insists he still hopes to play in the Premier League one day - no prizes for guessing his preferred destination.
Aurier told Le10Sport: “True Arsenal has always attracted me, I’ve never hidden my attraction to this club that makes me dream, but it’s not just Arsenal, the city of London I really like and also the Premier League too, I’d really like to move to this league one day.
“Everyone lingered on the transfer of 'Aurier to Arsenal' because it’s true, there has been an approach and a desire to make me sign Arsenal.
“But hey, it does not happen and that’s that.
“I am very happy for Mathieu Debuchy, he deserves a lot because he’s a great player, this is one of the best full-backs in the world.”
Aurier affinity towards Arsenal did not seem to dampen apparent interest from their north London rivals Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino was rumoured to be lining up a late bid for the right-back but it is not known if they ever threw their hat in the ring.
A more interesting question would be whether Aurier would be willing to move to White Hart Lane, essentially alienating himself from Gunners fans forever. One thing is for sure, if it came between choosing Tottenham or Arsenal, the latter would always win.
Future Gunners move
At 21 Aurier is certainly young enough to make another high profile move in his career. Wenger chose to sign Debuchy instead, but the France international will soon turn 29. In today's game, that is something of a short-term option and Arsenal will probably need a replacement in five years, when Aurier should be hitting his peak.
If he reaches his potential at Parc des Princes, it is likely his value will soar well above the reported £7 million fee Arsenal were willing to pay. However, Wenger has shown in with the purchase of Alexis Sanchez that he has the financial power to secure big signings.