Serge Aurier has joined Paris Saint-Germain after enjoying a breakthrough season with Toulouse. The Ivorian full-back had been linked with Arsenal following the departure of Bacary Sagna, but Paris is his destination.
Aurier scored six times and contributed six assists last term to earn himself a place in Ligue 1’s team of the year, and the 21-year-old has now been able to secure a notable transfer to PSG, the reigning champions.
PSG have, however, signed Aurier only on loan to begin with. Sanctions placed upon the club by UEFA under FFP have reduced their transfer budget, which has already been spent on the sizeable acquisition of David Luiz.
UEFA have stipulated that PSG are restricted to a €60 million net spent in this summer transfer window, which means they would have to sell some prized assets in order to fund any more market activity.
But, as far as Aurier is concerned at least, PSG have been able to find a way around this ruling by recruiting the player on a supposed temporary basis, although it would seem incredibly likely that a deal is already in place for the player to join permanently at the first available opportunity.
The Arsenal interest
Arsenal had initially emerged as the frontrunners to sign Aurier with Arsene Wenger in the market for a right-sided defender after Sagna had left following the expiration of his contract.
The Gunners were credited with serious interest in the player and Aurier himself even appeared to claim that a deal was in place for him to move to the Emirates Stadium before the transfer deadline.
However, this did not transpire and Arsenal instead signed Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle as a direct replacement for Sagna. The France international joined for a fee of around £12 million.
Watch: Serge Aurier 'confirms' Arsenal deal
A more sensible signing
Debuchy would appear to be a far less risky signing for Arsenal, with the having already spent a season in the Premier League, and performing to distinction during 10 years as a player for Lille.
The 28-year-old provides the experience Arsenal require following the departure of one of their most consistent performers over the past decade, and will allow Carl Jenkinson to continue his apprenticeship at the club.
Aurier, meanwhile, would have represented something more of a gamble for Wenger, a notoriously shrewd operator. The prospect of having two inexperienced right-backs among his number was something that would have caused concern, and the Arsenal manager was able to reach the right decision.