Sport Witness reported this morning that Wenger and Grimandi met the agent of Auxerre’s French starlet Yaya Sanogo in Paris last week to discuss a summer move for the forward (first reported by L’equipe). The player would be free to move to Arsenal as his contract with Auxerre expires in the summer – although Arsenal would be expected to pay training compensation costs as he is only 20 years old. Sanogo is highly rated in France – so it is highly unlikely that Arsenal will be the only team in the hunt for his signature (Lille have been mentioned as potential suitors – whilst inevitably Newcastle will be keeping an eye on the situation).
Sanogo is a French Under 21 International and although he has struggled with injuries in the past (cue jokes about fitting in well) – he has been in impressive form since the beginning of the year scoring four goals against Laval and three goals against Troyes. With Auxerre looking increasingly unlikely to be promoted from Ligue 2 – it would be very surprising if Sanogo chose to renew his contract.
Whilst Sanogo isn’t the only young striker that we have been linked with in recent weeks (see example 1 and example 2) the French link is an obvious one to see – and whilst I hope we don’t pin our summer transfer dealings and scoring issues on this one piece of business – Sanogo could well turn out to be a very shrewd signing. Sport Witness is usually quite reliable – so Sanogo has now jumped to the top of my “young striker likelihood list”
It will be interesting to see how this one develops….