Lille are facing a battle to keep Florian Thauvin before they even get a chance to give the winger his debut, with Arsenal, Newcastle United and Marseille all apparently keen on the 20-year-old.
According to French newspaper La Provence, Lille have set a price tag of around £13million in a bid to stave off interest from Marseille, but that could alert Arsenal and Newcastle to the availability of Thauvin, with both Premier League clubs monitoring his situation.
Lille signed Thauvin in January, but loaned him back to Bastia for remainder of the Ligue 1 season, and the 20-year-old continued to impress, scoring ten times in the league including a run of seven goals in 12 matches in the second half of the year.
Thauvin also impressed in the France under-20 side that won the World Cup in Turkey this summer, and with his stock on the rise, Lille could more than quadruple the £3million they paid for the winger in January without him ever playing a match for them.
Arsenal could target Thauvin as a replacement for another winger they signed from Lille, with Gervinho now at Serie A side Roma after two poor seasons at the Emirates.
After missing out on several high profile targets this summer, Arsenal will be keen to ensure they do not fail with another bid for a player, and Thauvin might be a more attainable target if Lille really do set a price under £15million for the 20-year-old.
Newcastle are still desperate to improve their attacking options after several deals for strikers apparently hit the buffers, and could see Thauvin as a perfect fit for their Francophile side.
Alan Pardew is likely to play with two wide attackers this season, and Thauvin could link or rotate well with the likes of Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran, Loic Remy and Hatem Ben Arfa.
image: © Julien Haler