Manchester United have had a bid rejected for Benjamin Mendy, while Premier League rivals Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in the French starlet in the past.
According to the Daily Express, Louis van Gaal saw the 20-year-old defender as a useful option for the present and an extremely promising talent for the future, but will have to look elsewhere after a bid was rejected. Arsenal have been linked with Mendy in the past, so they may well take interest in proceedings.
Transfer in doubt
However, if Arsene Wenger believes he can succeed where Van Gaal could not, the Gunners boss may have to think again as the report claims Olympique Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa sees him as ‘untransferable’.
Manchester United completed the signing of Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday evening, so are not quite so short in the left side of defence, what with Luke Shaw already having been purchased for the considerable sum of £27million this summer from Southampton.
The young England star is expected to become the main man at full-back for the Three Lions eventually and the purchase of Mendy would possibly create problems for him.
Van Gaal has been deploying a 3-5-2 formation since taking over at Old Trafford and Mendy’s pace and dribbling abilities make him an ideal wing-back. He is also being deployed as a midfielder by Bielsa at Marseille and versatility is key to Van Gaal’s system.
Gunners' long-term target?
Arsenal are credited with also having an interest in Mendy by the Express and switch to Emirates Stadium would, on the face of it, appear to make more sense than moving to their Premier League rivals.
Wenger uses more traditional full-backs in his system and the left-back position is one that may not be an immediate cause for concern but could need addressing in the not too distant future.
Kieran Gibbs has turned into one of the best left-backs in the Premier League, but his forced withdrawal from the season opener against Crystal Palace due to a hamstring problem was worryingly familiar.
He played a good amount of games last season but never seems to be free from niggling injury problems and relying on him could be risky. Nacho Monreal is a viable alternative to Gibbs but the Spaniard has been nothing more than solid when called upon over the past year and does not look like challenging the Englishman as first choice.
Mendy would provide something of an injection of youthful exuberance and would challenge the senior pair while also having time to develop.
Feelings made clear
Marseille may be insisting he is not for sale at the moment, but one thing that is for sure is that Mendy has his heart set on a move to the Premier League eventually. In 2012 the then 17-year-old Le Havre starlet revealed that Arsenal were tracking him and made plain the plans he had for the trajectory of his career.
"There was interest from a lot of clubs. I know Arsenal were one," he said.
"But I have a sensible head on my shoulders. I am still living at the education centre here with my friends who play for the reserves. I have not changed.
"After Le Havre, I would like to spend two seasons in Ligue 1 and then go to England. I would then like to go to Barcelona, where my idol Dani Alves plays."
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