Arsenal are tracking young Nantes defender Batista Mendy, according to reports.

The 17-year-old has been attracting interest from both Arsenal and Chelsea. Mendy spoke to L’Echo de la Presquile about the interest recently, and believes he would suit the English game, reports Tribal Football.

“I hope to sign my first professional contract at the end of the season and by then, play a few games with the reserves,” he said. “My first priority is to impose myself in my training club. The Premier League? It is the championship that corresponds most to my profile: big, sturdy in the tackles.”

Mendy has yet to make his first-team debut for Nantes and could be prised away from the French club before he signs his first professional deal. Arsenal and Chelsea typically sign a lot of young players from abroad and have benefited from shopping in the French market.

Arsenal, especially, could do with more options in defence given the lack of defenders coming through the academy, in my opinion. The youth teams contain plenty of promising midfielders and forwards, but have struggled defensively for several years I’ve felt.

Nantes have one of the most famous academies in France. Over the years, they have produced the likes of Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly, Mickael Landreau, Claude Makelele, Christian Karembeu and Jeremy Toulalan, who have all represented France at international level.

Batista Mendy has represented France at u16, u17 and u18 levels, accumulating 19 caps.