Arsenal have moved ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for Auxerre forward Paul-Georges Ntep, after the striker admitted that a move to the Emirates Stadium would appeal to him.

The Premier League trio – plus Aston Villa - have all been tracking the 21-year-old for some time following his emergence as one of French football’s top young players.

Six goals in just seven U-21 appearances for his nation have prompted talk that he could leave Auxerre, with the second-tier outfit aware that they face a struggle to keep their latest starlet.

Ntep himself has ambitions of playing regularly to a bigger side, and says that Arsenal are a club that he would be interested in joining.

“Arsenal is a club that appeals to any player,” Ntep told The Express.

“This is a club that relies on young people. After that, it’s always the same question – it depends on the project. Arsenal, yes, but to do what?

“If this is a club where I am going to sit on the bench, then where is the progression?

“I’m not saying I want to go to a big club to start immediately but at least that can happen in the medium term.”

Arsenal are believed to be in the market for attacking reinforcements this January, and may look to explore a deal for Ntep.

Auxerre have a reputation for producing talented players, with Eric Cantona and more recently Bacary Sagna both having come through their academy.

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