End of Mertesacker: Arsenal in club to seal deal for CB

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Arsenal have reportedly identified Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly as a possible transfer target this summer.

The Gunners are known to be in the market for defensive reinforcements after failing to prise Jonny Evans away from West Bromwich Albion during either of the last two transfer windows, while they have also been credited with an interest in Manchester United’s Chris Smalling.

Calciomercato reports that manager Arsene Wenger has earmarked Koulibaly as an ideal target to bolster his options at the back, with Arsenal sending a scout to watch him in action during Thursday’s Europa League clash with RB Leipzig.

Arsenal are now expected to monitor his progress for the remainder of the campaign before deciding whether to launch a big-money bid for the 26-year-old Senegal international.

Koulibaly has been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea in the past and is likely to command a fee in excess of £40m, with that asking price expected to rise by the time the transfer window reopens.

Koulibaly has made 32 appearances for the Serie A leaders so far this season, helping Napoli to boast the joint-best defensive record in the Italian top flight.


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