Arsenal keen on 24-year-old Senegal defender

Arsenal keen on 24-year-old Senegal defender


According to both The Telegraph and Mirror, Arsenal are closely monitoring the availability of Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

Having wrapped up their main midfield target this summer by announcing the signing of Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach earlier today, Arsenal have directed their focus to shoring up the back-four.

French-born Koulibaly could be available for around £20 million. The Gunners are in the market for an additional center back with Per Mertesacker having only a year left on his contract, Laurent Koscielny hitting 30, and Gabriel not progressing as some had hoped.

Koulibaly arrived in Serie A from Belgian club Genk in 2014. He had a difficult first season but excelled this past year. At 6’5, Koulibaly would certainly add height to the center back group, while also providing some physicality that perhaps Mertesacker is lacking. On the surface, this seems like a direct replacement for the former German international.

Arsenal had been in contact with Bolton about the availability of 20-year old center back Rob Holding. However, the Gunners had a bid rejected and it’s not clear if they intend to follow up with an improved offer. Bayern Munich defender Medhi Benatia has been mentioned as a target, as has Atletico Madrid’s Lucas Hernandez.

In addition to Gabriel, Mertesacker, and Koscielny, Arsenal also have Calum Chambers on the books. The young English international featured sparsely this season, and although center back has been the position he’s excelled in most, Arsene Wenger hasn’t committed to labeling Chambers as a center back.

In addition to center back, the North London club is in the market for a striker. Both The Telegraph and Mirror mention Alvaro Morata as a target, while AZ’ Alkmaar’s 21-year old Dutch international striker Vincent Janssen has been linked, as well.