August 10, 2017
Manchester United have targeted Ivory Coast and Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier this summer with reports suggesting the player has agreed on a five-year contract with the Old Trafford club. Football website Goal, through their PSG correspondent, Loic Tanzi reported the news which if correct would tie up the fourth summer signing for Jose Mourinho, strengthening the defence and more importantly the right-back position with Antonio Valencia the driving force in that position. The loan spell of Timothy Fosu-Mensah to Crystal Palace, which at the time of publishing had not been confirmed despite the fact the player had been seen training with his new teammates.
Aurier has made 57 appearances for PSG since he signed for the club in 2014, initially on loan from Toulouse, making a permanent switch the following year. There are some issues which made need to be sorted before any transfer becomes a reality which is the conviction in France for assault on a Police Officer last year, of which the player received a two-month suspended prison sentence. Aurier was denied entry into the United Kingdom for a UEFA Champions League match in November after his visa was revoked. The player is appealing the conviction, which if quashed could change everything or nothing if upheld. Just because there are reports of a deal between the club and the player does not mean the transfer will happen.
Whilst playing for PSG, Aurier helped win two Ligue 1 titles, three Coupes de la Ligue and three Coupes de France, which is a pretty successful spell during his career. The player is a full international which his native Ivory Coast, having played 39 times, helping to win the 2015 African Cup of Nations. Possible United teammate Eric Bailly could help the player settle in if the transfer becomes a reality, not just a rumour. Earlier this summer, PSG signed Brazilian Dani Alves, who was released by Juventus which leaves the Ivorian further down the pecking order at the Parisian club. Mourinho had previously stated that four players were his wish this summer, with Auriers potential arrive meeting that quota.
However, it has been suggested that United will be seeking other signings this summer with the four players Mourinho wanted being a central defender; Victor Lindelof, a striker; Romelu Lukaku, a defensive minded midfielder; Nemanja Matic with the fourth being suggested as an attacking midfielder strong on the wing, or a winger if you will. I am sure Mourinho will still be wanting a winger unless Aurier was to come in as the right-back with Valencia playing further forward in a right-wing position, his former position before being earmarked as a right-back. I don’t think that would be what happens, just merely a suggestion.
The Sun also reports that Aurier has agreed on a five-year deal with United but also stipulating that a fee has not yet been agreed with PSG, which could be the final hurdle of the deal. It would suggest that United have contacted the Parisian club, who signed Neymar from Barcelona in a £198 million deal last week, for permission to speak to the Ivorian, which had led to the reports the player has agreed on the apparent five-year deal, also suggesting the player could have agreed on personal terms with the club. If United are seeking Aurier to be a part of their Premier League squad for Sunday, it may be too late, but the player, providing the move is confirmed in time, could well play against Swansea City in the club second Premier League match of the season.