Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has identified Newcastle United full-back Mathieu Debuchy as a potential replacement for his France team-mate Bacary Sagna, with the Mirror reporting that the Gunners are ready to table an £8m offer for a player desperate to play Champions League football.
Sagna's decision to pursue a lucrative switch to Manchester City has left Wenger with an urgent need to recruit a top right-back this summer, although Ivory Coast starlet Serge Aurier has looked his most likely replacement for the last month.
Debuchy is a player Wenger is very familiar with though and that's led the Gunners boss to consider a star who has proved to be perfect for the Premier League in two seasons at Newcastle, while also possessing Champions League experience dating back to a decade at Lille.
Youth or experience
Debuchy has made it very clear he wants to leave Newcastle this summer if there's an offer to play Champions League football on the table, something the Gunners could provide if Wenger wants to sign the Les Blues star currently keeping Sagna out of the France side in a successful start to the World Cup.
Wenger doesn't often sign established players close to 30 though, and with Debuchy turning 29 next month a move for the pacy, energetic full-back would represent a relative departure from Arsenal's transfer policy in recent years.
What about Aurier?
Arsenal have been tracking Toulouse talisman Serge Aurier for more than six months and were widely thought to be preparing a £7m offer for Ligue 1's most consistent right-back last season, but Wenger wants a star ready to come in and start ahead of reliable cover Carl Jenkinson from the first day of the season, a remit more suited to a player of Debuchy's experience.
Aurier has bags of raw potential while Debuchy is a more proven commodity, which means with both players available for roughly the same price Wenger has a decision to make.
Watching at close quarters
Wenger will have another opportunity to track Debuchy's progress from close quarters on Monday night, with Debuchy expected to start as France take on Nigeria in a last 16 showdown in Brasilla.
The Gunners boss has been working as a pundit for French television throughout the tournament and may have been surprised to see Debuchy preferred to Sagna by Les Blues boss Didier Deschamps for two of three Group E games, thanks to his drive and desire to make an impact in more advanced areas.
Debuchy has pace and consistent quality of crossing in his favour, but Sagna is definitely more powerful in aerial duels and rarely put a foot wrong during seven solid seasons at the Emirates.
Manchester City's new star can't nail down a place in France's starting XI though, and could soon find Debuchy is his successor at Arsenal as well as direct competition in the national side if Newcastle are willing to talk terms over a summer switch.
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