Marseille join the race with Arsenal to sign highly-rated defender

Serge Aurier

Arsenal have been long linked with a move for Serge Aurier, but now French giants Marseille are set to join the race for the Ivorian right-back.

Serge Aurier may have been on the losing end of a 2-1 defeat on Thursday evening, but the Ivory Coast right-back continues to attract admirers. Arsenal are still the heavy favourites to land his signature, but this morning various French sites, including claim that Ligue 1 side Marseille are very interested in acquiring his services as they look to bounce back this season.

The French club finished sixth last season and now new coach Marcelo Bielsa is set to begin rebuilding a squad that is in desperate need of overhauling.

21-year-old Aurier would be the perfect fit for the Argentine coach. The Ivorian definitely fits the mould of player that he had great success with at both Chile and Athletic Bilbao. The current Chile full-backs, Mauricio Isla and Eugenio Mena, are asked to get forward as often as possible, but also to work extremely hard to track back and defend.

This trait started with Bielsa four years ago, and it is very likely that Marseille will be asked to play a similar style in the forthcoming season. Aurier fits this description perfectly. At Toulouse he has played as a right-wing back, a centre-back and on the right of a back four.

There are few full-backs in Ligue 1 that would fit any better into Bielsa’s game plan than Aurier.

Bielsa is going to find it tough to attract a certain level of player this summer as Marseille face a season without European competition. However, OM is the biggest supported team in the country, with a reported 12 million fans across France.

Playing for Marseille is still classed as a huge goal in the career of any footballer that has been developed in France. Aurier would see it as a step up to go from Toulouse to Marseille this summer, despite only three places separating the two sides at the end of last season.

Arsenal remain in pole position to sign the Toulouse defender, and if Arsene Wenger wants Aurier to replace Bacary Sagna, the Ivorian is more than ready to make the move. Never underestimate the pulling power of Marseille though. If Arsenal stalls, the French giants will be willing and able to swoop in and entice Aurier to the Stade Velodrome.

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