Manchester City are preparing to intensify their long-standing interest in Paris Saint-Germain right-back, Serge Aurier, according to Nabil Djellit of France Football.
The Ivory Coast international has a contract with the French giants until 2019, but has so far refused to agree to a new deal, leading to attention from European giants including Manchester United and Barcelona.
And in recent days, Man City have stepped up their interest in the 24-year-old. The number one target remains Kyle Walker of Tottenham, but Daniel Levy is not making negotiations straightforward, demanding around £50 million for the England international.
City still hope to strike a deal for Walker, especially given the 27-year-old wants to leave White Hart Lane, but in the event of that not happening, Aurier is at the top of the short-list of alternatives.
A talented but controversial figure, Aurier was suspended by PSG in 2016 for making alleged homophobic slurs aimed at former manager Laurent Blanc. He was later reinstated into the first-team fold, and has been a consistent performer for PSG at right-back.
One drawback of signing a player such as Aurier is his international commitments to the Ivory Coast which mean he would miss a crucial period of the season whenever the African Cup of Nations is on – an issue City have had to face throughout Yaya Touré’s tenure at the club.
For now, Aurier remains a fall-back option, but if City and Spurs fail to agree a fee for Kyle Walker, he could quickly become a primary candidate to reinforce the vacant right-back position.