Reports in France this morning suggest that AS Monaco are close to securing the signature of Arsenal goalkeeping target Paul Nardi from AS Nancy. The France Under-20 international is currently playing for his country in the Toulon Summer Festival in the south of France and any move would likely be concluded next week. Arsenal are set to miss out on the 20-year-old in the same week that they have sold Lukasz Fabianski to Swansea City.
Monaco’s offer to Nancy is reported to be around €2.5 million, which a surprisingly low for a young goalkeeper that is expected to go on to become the long-term replacement for Hugo Lloris in the senior national team.
His deal to Monaco would likely see him return to Nancy for another season on loan, and allow him to continue his development in Ligue 2. This season he made his debut during the eighth week in the 1-1 away draw against Creteil, and went on to start every league game for the rest of the season.
His record is pretty impressive for a 20-year-old; he only conceded 31 goals in the 33 games as Nancy finished fourth this season. ASNL were only three points off of the promotion places and with Nardi back in the team, the impressive end of season performances will see them start as early favourites to win promotion back to Ligue 1 next season.
In the last week Nardi has shown for France exactly why there is huge interest in his services this summer. In the opening game of the Toulon tournament against Chile, Nardi made a number of superb saves in the first-half to keep France in the game. Showing great reflexes and bravery to stop the Chilean forwards.
France went on to win the game 4-0 and Nardi well-deserved his clean-sheet. Now they face Portugal in the final group game, a victory will see France and Nardi reach the final. It is a tournament that is always a hot-bed of scouts from around Europe and no doubt plenty of clubs will now be alerted to his ability.
Unfortunately, Monaco have got the march on them, and he will likely sign for the Monegasque club in the next week or so.