One area in which Arsenal are being credited with an interest in improving is that of the centre back area. With not everyone convinced with Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny being heavily linked with Bayern Munich and Thomas Vermaelen’s dip in form last year you can see why.
One such player who Arsenal have been heavily linked with is Anderlecht centre-half Cheikhou Kouyate.
The 23-year-old dynamic defender certainly has all the necessary attributes to play Premier League football; and with his contract expiring in June 2014 there is hope the Senegalese international could be available on the relatively cheap.
But while Arsenal have been strongly linked with his signature they are not alone.
Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala never truly replaced Christopher Samba when he left for QPR in January and that along with a goal-scoring striker seem to be the clubs main goals ahead of next season; when they hope to finally lift the Russian Premier League title.
Now it is reported they see Kouyate as the perfect man to replace Samba and add some defensive stability to the back-line.
Russian daily Izvestia has reported on the deal this week; even suggesting that the Dagestan outfit had already made a €10 million bid for his much-coveted services.
His agent also went into detail about a potential deal. Tedira Bekir stated:
"There's a real negotiation with Anzhi Makhachkala at the time, and we are in touch with their executives. They offered us very appealing conditions…’’
So the wheels in this deal are in motion. But there is little doubt where exactly Kouyate would prefer to be playing his football next season, as confirmed by the rest of Bekir’s statement:
‘’…but the player is more than everything interested in the sports side. Therefore his priority is finding a club to play for in England, but I don't know if some of them would be available to pay the requested sum"
That seems to be on the money.
Arsenal would undoubtedly love to have such a talented young individual in their ranks but woth just a year on his current deal they are right to shirk at the massive asking price the Belgian club are slapping on their prestigious talent.
Anderlecht seem intent on gambling the risk of him leaving for nothing next summer in order to get the best fee involved; but if Kouyate is intent on English football then he might just wait a season to the detriment of the Belgian champions.
Either way this is a fluid transfer deal that needs an eye kept on it to see exactly where Kouyate ends up.
Should Arsenal meet the asking price for Kouyate?
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