Serge Aurier: Cote d'Ivoire & Paris Saint-Germain star rejects bad boy tag

Serge Aurier Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier insists that his bad boy reputation is unfair and believes that his image has been tarnished by people who want to bring him down.

A series of unsavoury incidents on and off the pitch have led to Cote d'Ivoire full-back Aurier being considered among the more controversial African players in the game today, but the wideman believes that he is mentally strong enough to deal with whatever comes his way.

"I'm someone who is very strong mentally," the defender told Stade 2. "Aside from that, I don't follow everything that goes on.

"Things have happened, and then it continues, it drags on," he added, "because people want to talk about it, maybe want to destroy me.

"I'm keeping a low profile, I work, I'm trying to stay true to myself."

Despite his protests, Aurier has hardly helped himself with a series of headline-making antics in recent years.

Last year, he was notably suspended by PSG after criticising then-coach Laurent Blanc and some of his teammates on Periscope, while he was also arrested by police in May 2016 after an altercation with a police officer in Paris.

The ongoing investigation prompted British authorities to reject the player's visa application ahead of a match against Arsenal in the Champions League group stage earlier this season.

On the field, Aurier also made some enemies when he celebrated a Cote d'Ivoire goal against Mali with a throat-cutting gesture aimed at the fans in October.

The former Toulouse defender also weighed in on rumours surrounding his future, with Barcelona just one club to have been linked with his signature in the future.

"For the moment, I'm still here, I'm a Parisian," he added. "I have a contract until 2019.

"I'm here, and then we'll see what happens."

Aurier was in action on Sunday as PSG beat Guingamp 4-0 at home to keep pace with Ligue 1 leaders AS Monaco.

With seven games to play, PSG are three points off the Club of the Principality.