France international right-back Sebastien Corchia has admitted that he has heard there is interest from the English Premier League over his services, though was not certain he will leave Lille in the summer.
The 26-year-old, who has played more minutes than any other outfield player in France's top flight this season, has only a year left on his contract at Stade Pierre-Mauroy and appears likely to leave the club this summer – with Arsenal one of the side’s interested in his services.
Corchia has confessed that he could be persuaded to broaden his horizons by moving abroad.
“I won’t mention any names, but yes, I have heard about interest from English clubs, but to be honest I don’t know what will happen,” he said.
“A lot of French players have done well in England, and coming from the very physical Ligue 1, I think maybe it is not so difficult for French players to adapt to the style of the Premier League”
However, the former France Under-21 captain does not believe that leaving his current employers is inevitable.
“I have one year left on my contract, and there are negotiations with Lille, but I don’t know how they will end,” he told Goal. “Maybe the club want to sell me now.
“I have never stated that I definitely want to leave the club, and the project of ‘the new Lille’ with a new owner and Marcelo Bielsa as the coach from this summer sounds very interesting indeed. So in my opinion everything is possible. Nothing is decided yet.
“I am 26 years old and I have played more than 300 games in French football, but I could definitely also see myself in other leagues. So I will not rule out a move to another country, and I am always flattered when I hear about interest from other big clubs. To me it is proof that other people appreciate my performances. Right now, I am only focused on the remaining games to end as high as possible in the league table with LOSC.”
Despite a tough campaign for his Lille side, who face a fight to finish in the top half of Le Championnat, it has been a successful season on a personal level for Corchia. Among his stand-out statistics are the fact he has won more duels than any other right-back in the league and has been fouled more than any other player in his position.
“I know the stats, and I like them,” he laughed. “I am a defender and I enjoy the physical part of football - and I go into every challenge to win it.
“I like the stats about winning my duels with the opponents, because that is an important part of being a defender. The stats about me being fouled a lot is probably again because I enjoy both the direct duels and to go forward and try to be a decisive part of our attacking game as well.
“I have become more aggressive in the last few seasons - and probably my balance between being aggressive and clever is down to the experience of more than 300 games now at the top level.”
This know-how has started to translate itself to the international scene, with the full-back an increasingly regular part of Didier Deschamps’ France squad.
“I am proud to be a part of Les Bleus - because that was my dream since I was the captain of the France U21 team,” he confirmed. “The selections for the France squad have given me a lot of motivation to work even harder every day at training and inspiration to develop myself and play at the highest possible level. I am 26 now and entering what is normally the best years of a career, and I want to go all in to make the best of it.
“As this stage of my career, I really would like to be playing regularly in the European competitions. That is a fantastic challenge for all players to play the that level, and I believe, that it would improve my odds in the tough competitions for a starting place for France, which is my hope and ambition.”
With Lille unable to qualify for Europe next season, that will make keeping hold of one of their star men all the harder.