Arsenal are close to signing €20m-rated African centre-back

The London giants are ready to face stiff competition in the pursuit of Odilon Kossounou. The Club Brugge defender has become one of the hottest prospects in the transfer market, following his breakthrough in the Jupiler Pro League, with Milan Inter and even Wolves among clubs interested in his services.

Rossoneri, in particular, have shown a desire to sign Odilon, who has been identified as the perfect replacement for Alessio Romagnoli. Kossounou is currently valued at €8m, but Club Brugge could demand at least €20m.

Gunners pursuit of Ivory Coast international was reported by the English media earlier this month, with Mikel Arteta keen on strengthening his defensive options. Odilon became an appealing option for Arsenal due to his versatility that allows him to operate not only as a centre-back but also as a holding midfielder and even as a right-back.

The 20-year-old centre-back’s displays in the UCL have also raised a lot of eyebrows, with the defender slotting in as the ideal deputy for the injured Stefano Denswil. The club’s interest in the African centre-back, therefore, is hardly surprising, especially following a winter exodus in the defensive unit.

Indeed, the north London giants offloaded both Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis while Sead Kolasinac was loaned out to Schalke. In addition, the future of Calum Chambers appears to be in doubt in the upcoming summer transfer window, leaving the Spanish manager quite shallow in terms of depth.

Although the club is reportedly looking to extend the deal of David Luiz for a further year, the addition of someone like Kossounou should add some much-needed depth.