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I've rejected Man Utd and Fabregas told me to join Liverpool - I might now sign for Arsenal

Youssouf Fofana celebrates with France team-mates
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Arsenal could end up signing a player who Cesc Fabregas told to join Liverpool and rejected Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag in Youssouf Fofana.

The Monaco midfielder is reportedly close to becoming Declan Rice's next midfield partner at Arsenal. Fofana, who was heavily linked with a move to West Ham United last year, is a French international midfielder who will be in Les Bleus' squad for the coming European Championships.

As well as the Hammers, Liverpool and Manchester United have also cast admiring glances at the 25-year-old. The latter even went as far as approaching the versatile midfielder last summer, only to be quickly snubbed.

In November last year, Monaco sporting director Thiago Scruro said Fofana turned down United when he was approached by Ten Hag's side. “He deserves most of the credit,” Scuro said to Nice Matin when asked about Fofana's decision to stay with Monaco last year.

“(Fofana) believes in our project and made the decision to stay longer at Monaco to continue his development. He has big ambitions with the French team and AS Monaco.”

Now he has entered the final year of his contract, a move this summer appears to be likely.

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Amongst his admirers is former Arsenal captain and Chelsea hero Cesc Fabregas. The Spanish midfield maestro spent two years playing alongside Fofana at Monaco, nurturing his skills and providing much-needed guidance.

One piece of advice Fabregas gave to the prodigal Frenchman was that if an opportunity arose, join Liverpool. While the picture at Anfield is now different with Arne Slot at the helm instead of Jurgen Klopp, Fabregas thought Fofana would thrive in the Liverpool legend's intense playing style.

In a 2022 interview with RMC Sport, Fabregas said: “When I came [to Monaco as a player], Thierry (Henry) and Vadim (Vasilyev) also asked me to help grow the young people. It was an important point. Today, I feel like I have won the respect and sympathy of this younger generation. I hope I have helped. We like each other. I will continue to follow them and exchange with them. I would like to see Fofana, (Sofiane) Diop or (Aurelien) Tchouameni at Bayern or Liverpool!”

Monaco's French midfielder #19 Youssouf Fofana celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the French L1 football match between Montpellier Herault SC and AS Monaco at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, southern France, on May 12, 2024
Fofana has a whole host of admirers -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

Fofana's focus is now all on Euro 2024. He is expected to play a key role in France's tournament in Germany. But when asked about his future, he all but confirmed that a move away from Monaco is likely this summer.

In a recent press conference, he said: "I have spoken about it with the hierarchy, it isn’t a secret. We had exchanges and they agreed to accompany me in this new stage.

“If [a move] doesn’t happen, I still have a year left and I will be happy to stay. We were in agreement that we would accompany each other in this process in which everyone should be a winner, be it me or the club.”