Arsenal, Newcastle ‘want to sign’ €40m ex-Man City player despite Mbappe PSG approval

Date published: Friday 24th June 2022 12:44 - Will Ford

Kylian Mbappe pledged to stay at PSG

Arsenal and Newcastle are both interested in signing RC Lens star Seko Fofana this summer, but face competition from Paris Saint-Germain for the midfielder.

The Ivory Coast international made 38 league appearances for the Ligue 1 side last term, picking up eight goals and an assist in the process.

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A report last month claimed Newcastle havd made Fofana a ‘priority target’ this summer and ‘will not hesitate to take out chequebook’ in order to secure the signing.

And L’Equipe (via Get French Football News) have now confirmed Newcastle’s interest, but they’re joined by Arsenal in ‘appreciating’ the 27-year-old. Both clubs ‘would like to sign him’.

The problem for the two Premier League sides is that ‘the player would still be inclined to stay in France, according to those around him’.

Lyon are thought to be keen, but so too are PSG, who would offer Fofana ‘an unparalleled opportunity, with European prospects at stake’.

And crucially, Kylian Mbappe is said to have signed off on the deal.

Mbappe signed a new lucrative contract at the end of the season, with one of the terms of the deal said to be his input on new signings at the club.

The striker and his father Wilfrid have been “positive” about PSG adding Fofana to their ranks.

Fofana started his professional career with Manchester City, but wasn’t given any first-team opportunities by Manuel Pellegrini.

He spent a season on loan with Fulham in 2014-15, but has been with Lens since 2020 following a €10m from Udinese.

RC Lens ‘expect between €30-40m’ from any suitor this summer.

Meanwhile, CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs says Youri Tielemans is still on the Arsenal “radar”, claiming they’ve already agreed personal terms with the 25-year-old.

Jacobs said on The Football Terrace: “It’s incorrect to say anything other than that Arsenal have advanced things with Tielemans in the last seven days. The feeling was that Arsenal would swoop in after the international break and get it done. Instead they progressed things with Vieira, but Tielemans is still on their radar.

“Arsenal have put in a heck of a lot of work on this deal, dating back a year, they’ve agreed terms with the player, but at no point have they tabled an offer with Leicester City. Arsenal always felt they wanted to pay £25m all in, but Leicester want closer to £30m, £31m or £32m.”

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