Arsenal set aside £50m shock deal to sign star defender to replace Koscienly

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Arsenal have identified Kalidou Koulibaly as its top defensive target in the summer.

Wenger had wanted to sign a defender in the January transfer window, with Jonny Evans his top priority but the club couldn’t strike an agreement with West Brom.

The Baggies wanted around £25m for the 30 year old but Arsenal weren’t taking any of that and was only prepared to pay £10m. Both clubs inability to reach an agreement meant the Gunners had to shelve the idea of signing a centre back to next summer.

And Calcio Mercato via Sports Mole say Wenger has now earmarked Koulibaly as his top target.
Gunners scouts were present at Napoli’s game against RB Leipzig last Thursday to watch defender in action.

Although he couldn’t stop his team from falling to a 3-1 defeat, he gave a good account of himself.

The Gunners will continue to monitor Koulibaly’s progress until the end of the season before deciding whether to make a move for the defender or not.

Chelsea were heavily linked with Koulibaly two summers ago but Napoli weren’t interested in selling. It would take a lot from Arsenal to lure the defender away from Naples.

He is expected to cost in excess of ` which shouldn’t be a problem for Arsenal, going by the club spending power in the last couple of windows.

The Gunners aren’t  expected to end their interest  in Evans despite Koulibaly coming into the picture.

Wenger will also continue to monitor the West Brom defender who would be available for around £3m if his team suffers relegation.