Mainz have told Arsenal they’ll have to pay £26m to sign centre-back Abdou Diallo, according to reports in Germany.

Fussball Transfers claim Mainz have set their valuation of the defender at £26m. The Express report that Mainz chief Rouven Schroder recently admitted he’d received “enquiries” for the defender, with Arsenal rumoured to be one of the clubs making their interest known.

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Sven Mislintat is reportedly a long-term admirer of the 22-year-old, and in January he reportedly recommended the club sign him. Nothing came of it at the time, as Arsenal chose to focus on the front line. With the attack now sorted, they look much more likely to return for Diallo this summer.

Get French Football News reported late last month that it’s ‘highly probable’ Arsenal make a concrete move for the player in the near future. At £26m, it wouldn’t be outside of the club’s budget, especially if they make as many free transfer signings as rumoured in recent weeks.

Diallo made 30 appearances for Mainz in his debut season with the club. He won a lot of praise, consistently appearing in Kicker’s Team-of-the-Week. Bundesliga.com published an special article on the defender, in which they called him a “natural-born leader”.

Arsenal could certainly do with someone like that, after Per Mertesacker’s retirement and Laurent Koscielny’s injury. We’ll see if it happens.