Arsenal have agreed to meet Newcastle United's asking price of £12m for Mathieu Debuchy and expect to wrap up a deal for Bacary Sagna's replacement once his World Cup commitments are over, according to the Daily Star.
Debuchy has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Sagna at the Emitates on the strength of his World Cup displays, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger impressed enough with the 28-year-old to avoid haggling over a fee and accept that he must pay a premium for a proven Premier League commodity.
The right call?
Wenger has refused to be rushed in his pursuit of a new full-back, although it is very much at the top of his list of transfer priorities after Sagna ended a strong seven-year spell at Arsenal to sign a lucrative deal with Manchester City.
Serge Aurier, Micah Richards and Juanfran have all been mentioned as potential additions to compete with Carl Jenkinson for a starting spot at the Emirates, but it seems like Wenger has opted to go for experience rather than raw potential with a move for Debuchy.
World Cup scouting pays off
Wenger has spent the last fortnight working as a pundit for French television at the World Cup and watched Debuchy start for Les Blues, ahead of Sagna, on no less than three occasions.
Debuchy is preferred by France boss Didier Deschamps to the now ex-Arsenal star because of his attacking qualities and Wenger has also clearly been won over by his willingness to bomb forward at every possible opportunity, sanctioning a move as a result.
Newcastle have reluctantly accepted that Debuchy's Champions League ambitions will likely take him elsewhere this summer, but are not prepared to accept a penny less than £12m before sanctioning his sale.
Arsenal have first-hand experience of tough negotiations with Newcastle and are keen to avoid a repeat of the failed talks for Yohan Cabaye last summer, which is the reason why Wenger has moved from his initial £8m valuation of the player to get a deal over the line.
First of many
Gunners fans may have the signing of a top-class centre forward at the top of their wishlist, but as Wenger gears up to utilise a £100m transfer warchest a new full-back looks likely to the first summer addition for the FA Cup holders.
France reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup means Wenger will have to bide his time to formally confirm the move, but the Star believe an agreement is in place with Newcastle and now just personal terms and a medical stand in the way of the deal going through.
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