With the January transfer window only having a week left before it runs its course, Arsenal fans are keeping a close eye on the potential for new faces – especially in the final third.
Although a big-money move for Schalke’s Julian Draxler is being touted, the real need for the current Premier League leaders is a centre forward that can provide support to Olivier Giroud.
Plenty of potential targets have been mentioned as possible new additions at the Emirates Stadium, but at the moment there is no sign that Arsene Wenger is set to splash the cash.
One player that has been heavily linked with a move to the North London giants is talented France under-21 striker Paul-Georges Ntep.
The Auxerre attacker has caught the eye in Ligue 2, and has also starred for France at age-grade level, leading to repeated speculation over a move to England.
Arsenal were believed to be in the driving seat to add him to their squad, before QPR entered the race and were thought to be close to the Cameroon-born star’s signature.
However, comments from the player’s agent recently have suggested that a move away from Auxerre is no closer to fruition, and that there are currently no offers on the table.
Before the media frenzy over a move to London started, Ntep had the option to move to Rennes. This seemed to appeal, with a jump up to Ligue 1, and there were rumours to suggest that a deal was close.
However, Rennes president Frederic de Saint-Sernin has today revealed the reason that stopped the 21-year-old from joining his side was down to finances.
“For Ntep, we had agreed with Auxerre, but that was stopped,” the supremo revealed to L’Equipe.
“This was because the player wanted something huge compared to what he earns.”
On first reflection, wealthy Arsenal would surely be able to match the Ligue 2 star’s wage demands, but Wenger does have a strict salary structure in place at the Emirates Stadium.
If Ntep’s salary demands were outside of what other equivalent young prospects at Arsenal earn, this could well be a reason behind the potential move to North London not happening.
There seems like a considerable chance that the Auxerre man could still be on the move before the window closes, but his salary demands will need to be taken into consideration by potential suitors.