Arsenal are targeting the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly for £53m this summer, in an effort to shore up their defence.


Kalidou Koulibaly (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Kalidou Koulibaly

The Express write that Arsenal are focusing on the signing of the centre-back this summer, and Napoli have put the £53m price tag on his head. The largest hurdle to overcome is apparently that the club have missed out on the Champions League yet again.

That’s perfectly reasonable, given Napoli will play in Europe’s top tier competition next year. Koulibaly would have to choose to miss out on one season of Champions League football at best, as well as gambling that Arsenal won’t just miss out again the following year, and so on.

Arsenal sent scouts to watch Koulibaly earlier this season as Napoli played RB Leipzig in the Europa League. According to reports at the time, the defender “continues to like the English club a lot”.

The club also reportedly showed an interest last summer, making an enquiry for his services. Koulibaly’s strengths are his tackling and his passing, with over a 90% pass completion rate this season. Also, at 1.95m he provides a major physical presence in defence.

We’ll see if Arsenal can convince him to join the club. In case they can’t, click ‘next’ to see the other players who should be on Sven Mislintat’s shortlist this summer.