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Cotret Confirms Arsenal Talks Over €8m Striker
Auxerre president Guy Cotret has told reporters that highly-rated striker Paul-George Ntep travellled to London over the weekend to hold talks with Arsenal.
On Saturday night, the young forward set mouths wagging when he posted a picture on Instagram of him en route to London on the Eurostar with his agent. As we’ve been linked with the player in recent weeks, many assumed he was heading for the Emirates to hold talks with Arsenal.
The following day the rumour mill went into overdrive when Rennes youngster Ousmane Dembele claimed that Ntep had agreed to join Arsenal and would be immediately went out on loan to Rennes for the second half of the season.
Things took another twist on Sunday when Auxerre claimed they had received an offer from a French club, but no deal was agreed as yet.
However, the latest today is that Auxerre President Guy Cotret has confirmed that the striker was in London over the weekend and claims he was in talks with Arsenal about a potential move to north London. He told GFNF (get football news France):
“I signed a confidentiality clause to which I am bound. All I can say is that I have heard this rumour.
This is a complicated transfer to finalise because there are several parts. The willingness of the club, the player’s … We have advanced in negotiations with the French club that I mentioned Sunday.
For his part, Paul George is thinking. We are given another 24 hours to try to come to an agreement. He does what he wants from his weekends. In any case, I read they were talking to QPR. He was not at Queens Park. Was it Arsenal? Without a doubt! I’m not foolish. But in any case, I have no contact with an English club.
There is the French club of which I speak has made an offer. After that, maybe the player and his agent have other contacts … We are not at €8 million but we are in good negotiations.”
All very interesting. Usually you need the permission of your club to hold talks with another club, but it seems Auxerre have given Ntep the freedom to speak with who he likes as Cotret claims they haven’t had any contact with an English club, yet are happy for him to travel to England to hold talks?!
Anyway, on the face of it, it appears we do have concrete interest in Ntep. Either that or Auxerre are using Arsenal’s name to try and drum up interest in their player and drive up the price.