PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain’s last-ditch attempt to prevent youth academy graduate Yacine Adli from signing a professional contract with Arsenal has succeeded, with the 17-year-old now set to pen senior terms with his formative club, a source close to PSG told ESPN FC.
Adli, who is an international with France at youth level, 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 weekend.
However, according to the source, in a desperate late effort to stop the midfielder from reuniting with Emery at Arsenal, PSG sporting director Antero Henrique persuaded Adli that his future lies with the Ligue 1 champions at Parc des Princes and not in the Premier League.
The three-year contract on offer from PSG on paper was better all along, but Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat was initially more convincing regarding future game time than Luis Fernandez, PSG’s transfer chief and youth academy sporting director.
However, the source explained, since Thomas Tuchel was confirmed as Emery’s successor, Henrique has pushed hard to get Adli to reconsider and finally convinced the teenager to continue the adventure that he started at the end of the 2017-18 season with the club that raised him.
Emery handed Adli his senior professional debut towards the end of a goalless Ligue 1 draw away at Caen last month, but he suddenly looked likely to leave before signing professional terms, along with Manchester City-bound Claudio Gomes.
Arsenal were tracking Adli as early as March, when a source close to PSG revealed that Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich were also keen, but he was expected to sign professional terms in Paris until Emery’s departure was confirmed.
Tuchel is in the process of taking an in-depth look at the inner workings of PSG, including the youth academy, and the turnaround in the Adli situation is likely to cool some of the heat underneath Henrique and Fernandez.
The source indicated that there is no suggestion that Adli was swayed to stick with PSG because of the promise of a loan during the 2018-19 campaign.
Elsewhere, Tuchel is waiting for the Ligue 1 giants to reach an agreement with Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig for assistant manager Zsolt Low.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.