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Manchester United have reportedly reached a verbal agreement to sign Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier in the summer.
According to L’Equipe (via Metro), Aurier, 24, has held talks with Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho and agreed to move to United at the end of the season after three terms at the Parc des Princes.
The report added that the Ivorian would be installed as United’s first-choice right-back and is seen as “a long-term solution to [the club’s] right side of defence problem,” where Antonio Valencia has played unchallenged for most of 2016-17.
Traditionally a conventional winger, Valencia, 31, has been brilliant for United this season on the right of defence, per football writer Liam Canning:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
I think it is fairly obvious who deserves Manchester United’s Player of the Year: Antonio Valencia. The most consistent and hard-working.
4/16/2017, 6:15:00 PM
He and Aurier would be a formidable pair for Mourinho to call upon, while the addition of the Ivory Coast international could allow Valencia to also be deployed further forward again.
Aurier’s contract at PSG runs to 2019 and the French giants are not keen to let him go, according to L’Equipe (via Metro).
However, French football writer Matt Spiro claims PSG see Aurier as expendable, and he could be available for as little as €20 million (£16.7 million):
Matt Spiro @mattspiro
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
4/19/2017, 6:43:28 AM
Either way, Aurier could be a fine signing for United as he has the potential to be one of the best full-backs in Europe given his pace and power.
He has endured troubled times in Paris and been embroiled in a number of controversies—one of the most significant being his insulting tirade against then-manager Laurent Blanc and some of his team-mates on Periscope early last year, per ESPN FC’s Jonathan Johnson.
As a result, it would not be a huge surprise should PSG be keen to get rid of him, and United could be the beneficiaries with Mourinho likely confident he could improve Aurier’s prospects.