French youngster Bilel Hassaini is attracting interest from Premier League club including Arsenal, after refusing a professional contract at AS Nancy.
Arsenal are in the transfer market to make multiple signings for the first-team. However, the Gunners are also looking at players who could form a part of their future core and are scouting all across to find the right candidates. According to Foot Mercato, Arsenal are eyeing a potential move for AS Nancy youngster and winger Bilel Hassaini.
Arsenal are thought to be looking at strengthening their Under-23 side for next season as they believe their youth team could shape many for future first-team action. Recent shake-up at the club has seen Steve Bould taking over the Under-23 team from Freddie Ljungberg, who in turn has become a first-team coach under Unai Emery.
Hassaini is thought to be one of the sought after youngsters across Europe. The player has come to be known for his attacking qualities and caught the eye with his performances in the Under-17 World Cup wherein he played a prominent role in France’s triumph. Having thoroughly established himself in Nancy’s youth setup, it appears as if it is time to move to a much bigger club.
In recent days, Hassaini has refused to sign a professional contract at Nancy, prompting suitors to make a move for the youngster. The player though, intends to join Paris Saint-Germain, according to the report. But, the Parisians are not currently in the running to sign Hassaini.
Therefore, he might have to look at other clubs that are showing an interest. Premier League clubs Arsenal and Crystal Palace are thought to be the leading candidates to sign him, but for Hassaini it could be a tricky call to make.
Arsenal reportedly seem to be chasing several youngsters emerging from France. Saint-Etienne’s William Saliba is one of the prominent names on their wishlist, while they are also thought to be closing in on Lorient’s Alexis Claude-Maurice for a transfer in this window. The Gunners want Hassaini to be a part of the new revolution and thus, are making a move for the player.
Arsenal though, only want to sign Hassaini to be part of their Under-23 setup, meaning he will only slowly be inculcated in the senior side. But, Crystal Palace are promising to make him a part of their first-team plans for the upcoming season. What Palace are offering could be exciting for Hassaini and disrupt Arsenal’s plans of signing the player.
As such, a transfer fee is not expected to be paid by Arsenal or any other club, but an amount needs to be exchanged as a compensation fee for Nancy’s role in nurturing the youngster. This fee is thought to be in the region of €300,000.
Hassaini’s performances have shown he could have a bright future. While his dream remains to play one day for PSG, for now, he has a chance to grab a footing in England. Which club he joins remains a question, as Arsenal are indeed an attractive option for any youngster, even if it means to play with the Under-23. Crystal Palace though, would fancy their chances on the basis of first-team prospects on offer.