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“I’ve Been In Talks With Arsenal….They Are Very Interested”
The agent of Senegalese defender Cheikhou Kouyate claims he has held talks with Arsenal over a potential move and states that we are “very interested” in signing the centre-back.
Kouyate was strongly linked with a move to the Emirates in the summer but the move broke down due to work permit issues. He’s since been granted a Belgian passport which means he’s able to move to any European club and it appears a switch to Arsenal could be back on.
The players agent, Saffet Balkan, has been quoted in today’s press as saying that he has been in talks with both Arsenal and Liverpool about a move to the Premier League, but we hold the most serious interest and he expects his client to move to England ‘soon’. He said:
“I have been in talks with representatives from Liverpool and Arsenal over Cheikhou Kouyate.
“Arsenal are very interested in Kouyate. It’s very likely that he’ll be joining a Premier League club soon.” [source: Daily Star]
The 24-year-old is a beast of a centre-back, standing at 6 foot 4 inches, so he’d certainly give us a presence at the back if he does end up joining.
However, he’s highly unlikely to come straight in and displace either Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny in the starting eleven, so he’s probably viewed as a back-up or possible long-term replacement for Thomas Vermaelen.
The Belgian is likely to leave in the summer if he doesn’t win back his place in Arsene Wenger’s team, and as he’s currently our third choice centre-back, we’ll need someone reliable to act as back-up for Per-Kos next season.