With Arsenal closing in on a deal for Newcastle United defender Mathieu Debuchy, Newcastle United would be wise to turn their attention to previous Gunners target Serge Aurier.
The Ivory Coast international was thought to be all set for a move to the Emirates this summer, having been linked with the north London club in the months running up to the World Cup in Brazil.
There were even reports claiming Aurier had agreed personal terms with Arsenal, who were fighting off similar interest from old rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
But those claims have now been thrown into doubt by the Gunners successful capture of Newcastle United star Mathieu Debuchy, for an initial £8 million fee, in a deal that seemingly ends their pursuit of a replacement for Bacary Sagna.
Tottenham have also been linked to moves elsewhere, with Manchester City’s Micah Richards potentially on his way to White Hart Lane.
In the meantime Aurier has been quoted as denying that any deal with Arsenal was in place, before going on to reiterate his desire to head to the Premier League.
Speaking in an interview translated from the website Foot Mercato, the Ivorian made his feelings clear.
“I've been told that I had already signed with Arsenal. That is not true,” he said.
“All I can say is that the Premier League is the league I enjoy the most. Things are clear. I've always given my preference to England. But I've not given any sort of agreement to anyone. So I'm free to discuss with any club.”
With Tottenham and Arsenal pursuing alternatives and Newcastle United now on the lookout for someone to replace Debuchy, the Toon would do well to consider bidding for a player who impressed at the World Cup.
Aurier was the star of the show for the Elephants in their opening game, setting up both goals as the Ivory Coast came from a goal down to beat Japan.
A move to Newcastle would also allow the 21-year-old to link-up with a familiar face in the form of international teammate Cheick Tiote, while the club’s strong contingent of former Ligue 1 stars means he should find fitting in relatively easy.
Valued at around £12 million, the Magpies hierarchy could be willing to splash some of the cash earned from the Debuchy sale on the defender who could be sold on for a profit in years to come.
But with Aurier likely to find plenty in the way of suitors, Newcastle may want to move quickly on this one.