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Seko Fofana 'prefers Paris Saint-Germain over Arsenal move'

Seko Fofana 'prefers PSG over Arsenal move'
© Reuters
Paris Saint-Germain are ahead of Arsenal and Newcastle United in the race for Lens midfielder Seko Fofana, according to a report.

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly edged ahead of Arsenal in the race for Lens midfielder Seko Fofana.

The 27-year-old was an instrumental figure in the heart of Franck Haise's midfield last term, registering 10 goals and two assists in 41 matches for Les Sang et Or in all tournaments.

Fofana started all 38 Ligue 1 matches for Lens in the 2021-22 campaign and was named in the Team of the Year, as well as winning the Prix Marc-Vivien Foe - awarded to the best African player in the French top flight.

The former Fulham and Manchester City youngster is expected to be at the centre of a heated transfer tussle this summer, as his deal at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis only has two years left to run.

The likes of PSG, Arsenal and Newcastle United have all been tipped to move for the Ivory Coast international, with the Magpies trying and failing to bring him to the club in January.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe pictured on April 20, 2022 © Reuters

However, L'Equipe - via Get French Football News - reports that Fofana is hoping to remain in France for the 2022-23 season, and the sporting project at PSG appeals to the midfielder.

The report adds that Kylian Mbappe - who will have more of a say in off-field matters as part of his bumper new contract - has also given his personal approval alongside his father.

The Ligue 1 champions are now said to be in direct contact with Lens over a deal for Fofana, but the two sides are yet to enter an advanced stage of negotiations as Sang et Or hold out for at least €30m (£25.7m).

PSG could be forced to cough up as much as €40m (£34.3m) to secure the signature of Fofana, who has amassed 12 goals and six assists in 73 outings for Lens since arriving from Udinese in 2020.

Lens paid £7.7m to acquire the Ivorian from Udinese two years ago, and the Serie A side will supposedly receive 20% of any future sale for the in-demand lynchpin.

Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure in action in October 2021© Reuters

PSG bolstered their midfield with the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum last summer, but the ex-Liverpool man struggled to adapt to life in Ligue 1 under Mauricio Pochettino.

Wijnaldum is not expected to leave PSG this summer, but Leandro Paredes's future is being called into question, while 32-year-old Ander Herrera is out of contract in 2024.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have already signed Fabio Vieira to add to their engine room options, but interest in Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is thought to have cooled.

Mikel Arteta's side are currently prioritising a move for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, but the two sides are yet to reach a full agreement over a fee for the £50m-rated Brazilian.

Fofana is not the only Lens midfielder to be linked with an exit this summer, as Cheick Doucoure is supposedly wanted by as many as five Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.

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