Exclusive: Arsenal’s Stance Revealed on Move for Alexis Claude-Maurice

​Arsenal have never been interested in signing French winger Alexis Claude-Maurice – despite reports to the contrary – with recent speculation over a transfer to England peddled by the player’s current club, Lorient.

The 21-year-old hit 14 goals in 35 Ligue 2 games for Lorient last season, and has been the subject of a number of bids from the Gunners according to stories emanating from France and the UK since the start of June. Arsenal were even reported to have agreed “provisional terms”  with the player, while ​West Ham have also been linked.

However, sources close to the player have indicated to 90min that talk of a move to England was never on the agenda – despite Lorient’s best efforts to drum up interest.

Lorient are understood to have issued at least one mandate to British agents in the hope of engineering a move lucrative move to England – with one of them thought to be Mark McKay, son of notorious former agent Willie. This is in spite of Claude-Maurice making it clear to Lorient that he had no desire to move to the Premier League at this point in his career.

Claude-Maurice is on the verge of a move, however, and is close to sealing a transfer to Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach – who earlier this week he admitted he was keen on joining.

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“I want to join Gladbach [Borussia Monchengladbach]. They are a club that focus on young players,” he told L’Equipe. “They are a club that focus on young players, there is a good structure and they are playing in the Europa League. 

“I like their project and it suits me.”

While ​Arsenal won’t be acquiring Claude-Maurice, they are reported to be hot on the tail of young centre half William Saliba. The position is high on Arsenal’s list of priorities to strengthen ahead of the new season.

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