Toulouse’s 21-year-old right-back and boyhood Arsenal fan Serge Aurier has been his side’s best player this term and his showings have excited the interest of the club he supports.
With the Gunners due to haul their Premier League-best away record across London to Chelsea, Les Pitchouns’ star defender will likely agree that they look a huge double chance bet for the clash at 87/100.
Emirates incumbent Bacary Sagna is no nearer agreeing to a contract extension and, with his current deal due to expire at the end of June, the hunt for his replacement is in full swing.
Already linked with countless Ligue 1 wide-defenders, including Sochaux’s Sebastien Corchia, few mooted signings will likely have excited Arsenal fans as much as the young Ivory Coast international.
Stats boffins whoscored.com have Aurier earning the fifth-best average performance rating in the division in 2013/14, outshone by only Paris Saint-Germain pair Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Loic Perrin of St Etienne and Monaco’s Jeremy Toulalan.
Already capped seven times by the Elephants, the youngster is a potent attacking threat; notching five goals and laying on six more for his teammates in 25 starts this term.
However, an Andre Santos-like style over substance Fancy Dan he is not, averaging three tackles, 2.2 interceptions and 2.8 aerial duals won an outing for his mid-table employers.
Those numbers outstrip Sagna’s seasonal offerings in almost every case.
Fair’s fair, Aurier is playing in a less competitive league, but that’s not a qualification ever laid on the exploits of Mr Ibrahimovic and given the Ivorian is only 21 he rates a very exciting prospect.
Valued at around £6m, he would be a reasonably-priced replacement for the outbound club servant and, while Inter Milan too hold an interest in his services, the fact that he is an unrepentant Gooner should give Arsenal the edge in the race for his John Hancock.
Linked with a move to the Emirates in the winter window, Aurier scotched the rumours.
However, he later tweeted a picture of himself in an Arsenal shirt, admitting his fanboy allegiances.