Manchester United have reached a verbal agreement to sign Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier, according to French paper L’Equipe (via Metro).
The Ivorian, 24, has reportedly held personal talks with United manager José Mourinho and agreed to move to Old Trafford in the summer, after three seasons at the Parc des Princes.
If Aurier does join United, he could well be the solution to the club’s lack of depth at right-back. He will possibly compete with Antonio Valencia to be first-choice, with the Ecuadorian having faced little competition for his spot on the right hand side of defence.
Aurier’s contract at PSG runs until 2019 and the French giants will not be keen to let him go, and chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who personally likes the player, has offered the Ivorian international a three-year contract extension.
However, French football writer Matt Spiro believes that the club may see Aurier as expendable and could well part ways with the player for as little as €20 million:
Twitter: Aurier’s off-field antics & below par displays have seen him lose place to Thomas Meunier. Fine player but now seen as expendable by #PSG (@mattspiro)
Aurier definitely has the potential to become one of Europe’s best full-backs, but his time in Paris has been dominated by off-field controversies, rather than his performances on the pitch.
Early last year, Aurier unleashed a tirade against then-manager Laurent Blanc and some of his team-mates on Periscope. The right-back was then arrested, charged and taken to court for allegedly assaulting a police officer outside a nightclub in May. He was eventually given a two-month jail sentence, but appealed and is awaiting the results.
On the pitch, the Ivorian international is now second-choice, with summer signing Thomas Meunier usurping him in the pecking order. He was even barred entry to Britain earlier in the season as PSG travelled to play Arsenal in the Champions League, with the assault conviction the cause.
On the surface, Aurier would be a fine signing to shore up United’s defence, but these off-field problems mean that Mourinho might well be wise to look at other options.