Arsenal were reportedly one of several clubs watching Toulouse centre back Issa Diop, according to reports a few months ago so we thought we’d check out what happened with that rumour.

Diop, a 21-year-old centre-back, came through Toulouse’s academy and is being tracked by some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

According to Mundo Deportivo at the start of February, Barcelona identified him as a potential target for the future, while Arsenal and Tottenham were said to have “taken the step forward” in terms of dealing with Toulouse.

Arsenal have been keeping an eye on a few young defenders around Europe, including Mainz’s Abdou Diallo and Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard.

If their interest in Diop is anything to go by, it seems the club is returning to its roots, so to speak, by targeting young French players again.

The defence does need strengthening and a promising young player, who could take over from the ageing Laurent Koscielny and retiring Per Mertesacker, could be ideal.

Diop is enjoying a strong season in Ligue 1. He’s appeared 31 times, and has captained the team.

He was also a member of the France u20 squad at the World Cup in South Korea last summer.

Since the flurry of reports not long after the January transfer window closed, things went very quiet. A quick look around some of the major sites in Europe shows little has been reported since.

Crucially, there was one update at the start of March claiming Tottenham were now favourites to land the player, rated at £30m.

They apparently want him to replace Toby Alderweireld who is set to leave White Hart Lane this summer.

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