Paris Saint-Germain complete signing of Arsenal target Yacine Adli to first pro deal
Paris Saint-Germain have expressed their delight at signing Arsenal target Yacine Adli to his first professional contract after persuading him to reject the Premier League outfit's interest.
The 17-year-old was set to join the Gunners until the French champions launched one last bid to keep him that succeeded and now the France youth international has put pen to paper on a deal until 2021.
"PSG are delighted to announce that Yacine has signed his first professional contract with the club," read a PSG statement. "The club wishes Yacine a long and successful career in red and blue."
According to an ESPN FC source, Adli was set to become one of new Gunners coach Unai Emery's first signings at the Emirates Stadium and even travelled to London with his agent Moussa Sissoko last month, but PSG sporting director Antero Henrique pulled out the necessary late stops.
Emery handed Adli his senior professional debut towards the end of a goalless Ligue 1 draw away at Caen in May, but he suddenly looked likely to leave before signing professional terms, along with Manchester City-bound Claudio Gomes.
Arsenal's head of recruitment Sven Mislintat was initially more convincing regarding future game time than Henrique and Luis Fernandez, PSG's youth academy sporting director, but Thomas Tuchel also pushed hard to get the Portuguese transfer guru to persuade Adli to reconsider.
"It is a source of pride and a dream come true," Adli told PSG's official website. "However, this is only the first step -- I still have lots of work to do, because I aspire to reach new levels.
"My goal is to be part of the senior squad as often as possible and to do everything that I can to feature in as many matches as possible."
PSG also announced that Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe has joined Adli in signing his first professional contract with the club, also until 2021.
In other Ligue 1 transfer news, Lille have signed Jonathan Ikone from PSG after his extended loan spell with Montpellier.
The 20-year-old spent last season with La Paillade after the second half of the 2016-17 campaign and managed one goal with one assist from 18 Ligue 1 appearances last term.
Ikone, who is a French youth international, has signed a five-year contract with Lille, which will keep him at Stade Pierre Mauroy until 2023.
"I am happy to be here," the PSG youth academy graduate from the Parisian suburb of Bondy told LOSC's official website. "I wanted to join Les Dogues -- they are a good team and I need playing time.
"I spoke with the coach Christophe Galtier over the telephone and he told how he wanted me to come, how he wants to use me, and which position he seese for me.
"It was a two-way exchange and I am here to take a new step. I feel we can do great things together this coming season -- I am sure of it."
PSG wished Ikone "every success" for the remainder of his career in a statement regarding his transfer to Lille.
According to a source with knowledge of the move, the French champions have pocketed around €5 million for a player who only featured seven times at senior level.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.