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Arsenal target Napoli defender following Xhaka completion

| 26.05.2016

Arsenal have reportedly sounded out Napoli’s impressive defender Kalidou Koulibaly as the man to partner Laurent Koscielny at the Emirates next season.

Having already snapped up midfielder Granit Xhaka this week, Wenger is turning his attention to another of Arsenal’s weak spots.

The Gunners may have kept six clean sheets in their final nine Premier League games to end the campaign, but with Per Mertesacker turning 32 early next term, and Gabriel yet to impress at the highest level, the news that Wenger is after a new centre-half will be of little surprise.

Koulibaly impressed hugely this season, as Napoli launched their strongest Serie A title bid in years, eventually finishing second behind all-conquering Juventus.

Gli Azzurri conceded just 32 goals last season – the second best defence in Serie A – with 24-year-old Koulibaly featuring 33 times.

The Senegalese international has been in Naples for two years, following a two-campaign spell with Genk in Belgium, and a similar stint with Metz.

With a contract running until 2019, Napoli have no immediate desire to sell one of their rapidly-emerging talents, but it’s believed Arsenal could test the club’s resolve with a bid of around £20m.

It’s been reported this week that Koulibaly would consider a move, with Chelsea also linked with the centre-half.

But given Wenger’s keenness to make his Arsenal side title-challengers once again, don’t be surprised if the north London club oust their city rivals in this particular battle.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.