Mathieu Debuchy says he is still in talks to join Arsenal despite earlier telling French television he was on his way to the Emirates this summer. In a possible deal understood to be worth around £8m – rising to £12m with add-ons – the France defender would provide a ready-made replacement for his national team-mate Bacary Sagna, who left to join Manchester City on a free transfer at the end of the season.
After France’s World Cup quarter-final defeat by Germany, he said to a pitch-side reporter, telling TF1: “Yes, I will be joining Arsenal for next season.”
There has been no confirmation of the transfer from Arsenal, but the move has been widely mooted for several weeks and now appears to be a formality pending a medical.
Newcastle signed Debuchy from Lille last January, for £5m, and he has since been an ever-present member of Alan Pardew’s side. His impressive form in the Premier League led to interest from Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, and he made it clear last season that he wanted to pursue Champions League football for the coming campaign.
His potential arrival would be Arsenal’s first signing of the summer, but may not be the last. Arsène Wenger also wants to sign the Barcelona forward Alexis Sánchez and is hopeful of fending off interest from Liverpool for the Chilean.
Liverpool would like Sánchez included as a makeweight in Barcelona’s £70m offer for their Uruguay striker Luis Suárez and, according to reports, met his representatives on Thursday.
However, the 25-year-old Sánchez has given no indication that he wants to move to Anfield, despite Barça being eager for him to make up his mind to speed up negotiations over Suárez.
Wenger, who has been in Brazil as a World Cup pundit on French television, also met Sánchez’s agent earlier in the tournament, and it is understood the forward would prefer a move to London, having been told by Barça that he is no longer needed at the Camp Nou.