Premier League

Arsenal ‘hold talks’ with in-demand Ligue 1 midfielder

Youssouf Fofana, Olivier Giroud

Arsenal have been named among a group of top European clubs reported to have held early talks with representatives of Monaco and France midfielder Youssouf Fofana.

The centre of the pitch is an area the Gunners need to pay attention to this summer if they are finally get the better of Manchester City when the new Premier League season begins in August. Even with Jorginho signing a new contract, Mohamed Elneny will leave and Thomas Partey is for sale.

Arsenal have already been dealt one blow too, with news that rumoured target Martin Zubimendi would only be interested in leaving Real Sociedad for Real Madrid or Barcelona, even with the Gunners seemingly willing to trigger his €60m (£51m) release clause.

Fofana would fit the bill for Arsenal and is believed to be on course to leave Monaco in pursuit of bigger things – offers from Nottingham Forest and West Ham United were turned down last year.
He only has one more year left on his contract and Monaco seem resigned to selling now while they can still command a transfer fee, rather than let him down his deal into free agency.

Youssouf Fofana, Olivier Giroud

Fofana will play for France at Euro 2024 this summer / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

L’Equipe writes that the Gunners have been in contact with the 25-year-old’s camp. However, so too have Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid. Nothing is considered advanced just yet.

Monaco spent €15m on Fofana in January 2020 when he had played just 30 top flight games for former club Strasbourg, but have been rewarded for their faith and talent spotting in the four and a half years since by the player that he has developed into.

He has already played 17 times for France, including six appearances at the 2022 World Cup, and is part of the squad for Euro 2024, where Les Bleus are among the favourites.


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