Arsenal have signed 17-year-old midfielder Yacine Adli for a compensation fee of £223,000, Goal can confirm.
The starlet has rejected a contract offer to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after being persuaded by new Gunners head coach Unai Emery who gave Adli his debut when he was head coach at the French giants.
Adli, as first reported in France, has signed a three-year contract with Arsenal, with the option to sign for two more.
An attacking midfielder who has played for his country at Under-16, U17 and U18 level with France, Adli has scored 13 goals in 23 appearances at national team level.
Confirmation of Adli’s arrival is expected to follow in the coming days along with an update on Emery's coaching staff and the imminent signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund.
Emery handed him his Ligue 1 debut with PSG last season, with the youth academy graduate playing seven minutes of the final match of the season against Caen, an encounter that finished scoreless.
Speaking to Goal, Adli admitted that the Spaniard and his staff made a great difference to his level.
“I think I’ve become more mature, largely thanks to my integration into the adult game with the reserves, certain training sessions with the professionals. I’ve also improved technically and tactically thanks to David Hernandez, who I’ve watched a lot of videos with, which has really helped me," he said in March.
“But I think there are still some aspects I can improve. I’m aiming higher, so I’m full of things that can make me better.”
Despite a lack of first-team experience, he has been a regular in the PSG squad that competed in the UEFA Youth League, turning out alongside the likes of USA international Timothy Weah for the young Parisians this season.
The Ligue 1 champions, meanwhile, have struggled to retain much of the best talent coming through their youth system in recent times, with their prospects frustrated by the lack of first-team opportunities on offer at Parc des Princes. As such, the likes of Claudio Gomes and Dan-Axel Zagadou have left for the likes of Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in recent times.
By Chris Wheatley
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