Arsenal's pursuit of Newcastle right back Mathieu Debuchy has left Toulouse's Sergue Aurier in limbo.
The Gunners have been searching for a right back all summer, with long-serving Bacary Sagna now a Manchester City player after leaving on a free transfer. It appears that Magpies full back Debuchy is the man that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has identified to replace his compatriot, with an £8m deal poised to be completed.
Yet the deal raises huge question marks over the future of Toulouse's Aurier. The Ivorian international had been tipped to join the Gunners as Sagna's replacement ever since the January transfer window, and his impressive performances at the World Cup for the Ivory Coast had seemingly proven that the 21-year-old was capable of playing in the Premier League.
Yet despite being seven years younger than Debuchy and available for the same price, Wenger has chosen to snap up the latter, leaving Aurier to contemplate his future in France – but still harbours ambitions of playing in the Premier League, even if it may not be with his favourite club, Arsenal.
“People say that there was an agreement for me to join Arsenal, that I had already signed. That is not true.” said Aurier. “All that I can say is that England is the league I like the most. Things are clear. I have always preferred a move to England, because it is the league that suits me the best.”
“At the moment, I have not given my agreement to any club, whoever they might be and am therefore free to talk to whoever I want. To play in England is my dream, but sometimes dreams do not come true.”
Whilst his dream of a move to Arsenal may be dead, his ambition of playing in the Premier League could still be alive. His displays in Brazil will have no doubt attracted interest from more clubs than just Arsenal, and one of those that should be looking in his direction is Manchester United.
The Red Devils have already bagged midfielder Ander Herrera and left back Luke Shaw as new boss Louis van Gaal revamps the United squad, but there should be some attention given to the right back position too. Rafael has failed to really kick on over the last two seasons and has had issues with fitness and discipline, forcing centre backs Chris Smalling and Phil Jones into unfamiliar roles on the right hand side of the defence.
Netherlands international Darly Janmaat has been linked with the club but that seems unlikely given that he can't even get in van Gaal's side at the World Cup, yet it does suggest that the 62-year-old is at least considering adding another right back this summer.
With speed, strength, superb crossing and bags of potential, they should be taking a look at Aurier. He has some work to do defensively, but some of his issues appear to be correctable with the right coaching. Aurier would immediately compete with Rafael to start in the United defence, whilst he's also versatile enough to play at centre back or wing back – vital flexibility given how van Gaal has altered his formations at ease with the Netherlands this summer.
If Aurier reaches his potential, United would have a star on their hands – and they would make rivals Arsenal rue the day that they passed up the chance to sign him. At around £8m, Aurier should be a name near the top of van Gaal's shopping list this summer.