‘Unparalleled opportunity’ could hand transfer blow to Newcastle United and Arsenal

The midfielder has been linked with a move to the Premier League once again.

Newcastle United and Premier League rivals Arsenal are set to reignite their interest in Lens captain Seko Fofana - according to reports in France.

Both clubs were heavily linked with a move for the former Udinese midfielder during the January and summer transfer windows - but they were left disappointed when Fofana committed his future to the Ligue 1 club in early-September. Speaking at the time, Lens director Arnaud Pouille said: “Captain Seko has won the hearts of our fans and is an inspiring model of professionalism for all the young players in training every day. I would like to salute his consistency and maturity, as well as the quality of his entourage, because this extension is the result of cordial and virtuous exchanges.”

Fofana has continued his impressive form into this season with two goals and two assists in 12 appearances to help his side side just five points behind current Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain. That has led to interest from the Premier League - but Fofana’s reported determination to remain in France could lead to further disappointment for Newcastle and Arsenal.

L’Equipe have reported both Premier League clubs ‘would like to sign Fofana’ and ‘appreciate the profile’ of the former Manchester City academy star. However, the report also suggests the midfielder ‘would be inclined’ to remain in Ligue 1 and interest from PSG has handed him ‘an unparalleled opportunity, with European prospects at stake’.

A further factor to add intrigue to the race for Fofana is an agreement made between Lens and Udinese that will see the latter ‘receive 20% of the capital gain’ on any deal, meaning the Ligue 1 club will demand a fee in excess of £30m for their prize asset.