Tuesday, May 22, 2018

N’Koulou plays down Arsenal talk; Paulinho not ready for Euro move

Olympique de Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou has played down speculation linking him with a summer move to Arsenal.

Olympique de Marseille defender Nicolas N’Koulou has played down speculation linking him with a summer move to Arsenal, Sky Sports understands.

Arsene Wenger is reportedly interested in bringing the Cameroon international full-back to North London for a rumoured fee of £8 million.

Earlier this week, it was suggested that Marseille could offload N’Koulou and Souleymane Diawara in order to ease their financial woes when the transfer window reopens in July.

In response, N’Koulou told Sky Sports: “I want to finish the season strongly and then we will talk about my position.

“I love Marseille, they have been great to me. I am happy if everyone is a winner.”

The 22-year-old defender, who joined Marseille from Monaco in 2011, has also been linked with Premier League moneybags Manchester City, with the contract of  Côte d’Ivoire international Kolo Touré set to expire at the end of the season.

Spanish giants FC Barcelona are also reportedly interested in the Cameroonian defender.

Regarding speculation linking him with a move to the Emirates Stadium, N’Koulou said: “Nothing is done with Arsenal. It is only paper talk. I like Arsenal as a fan of good football, but it does not mean I will join them.

“I will be able to talk about my future in the summer. I know the club want to balance their books and think I am an asset for them.”

N’Koulou, 22, has made 38 competitive appearances for Marseille this season.

Paulinho not ready for Euro move

Corinthians defensive midfielder Paulinho has revealed he rejected two offers from FC Internazionale Milano in January because he wanted to boost his international prospects by staying at the Estádio do Pacaembu, Sky Sports reports.

Paulinho, 24, was also subject to heavy interest from European champions Chelsea, but no move came about.

The 24-year-old, who is under contract at the Estádio do Pacaembu until the summer of 2015, admitted that financial elements of the offers from Internazionale were attractive, but insisted that he does not place money ahead of his career.

The Brazil international also stayed at home in an attempt to win over new national team boss Luiz Felipe Scolari ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

“I received two offers from Inter Milan. I decided to stay because it wasn’t the right moment to go,” Paulinho told Sportv.

“The financial side was very good but I always place my career ahead of the money. Time will tell when it will be the right moment.

“When a player wants a new challenge, he insists, but when he doesn’t want to go, he insists as well.

“The national team is one of the reasons why I stayed, as the manager had changed. If I had gone, it would have been a new beginning.”


Shawn Etemadi



Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
More More