Arsenal hold talks to sign Premier League defender

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Unai Emery’s Arsenal “enquired about the availability” of West Ham United’s Issa Diop earlier this summer, according to a report from the French media.

The 22-year-old defender had a sublime debut campaign at the London Stadium, drawing interest from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United.

However, the new information hints that Arsenal also approached the Hammers in a bid to solve their defensive woes.

Foot Mercato report the Red Devils’ verbal proposal of just under £50m plus either Marcos Rojo or Phil Jones didn’t come close to the Hammers’ £80m valuation of the defender. Ole soon gave up the chase and switched his attention to Leicester City star Harry Maguire.

Diop then caught the eye of Arsenal, who were quoted a more reasonable £65 million, however, this still proved too expensive for the club – who have had to be creative with their £45 million summer transfer budget.

They have used a chunk of it this week to pay an up front sum of around £20 million to LOSC Lille for Nicolas Pepe.

The Gunners faithful have been crying out for new players to their defence as their only defensive acquisition of the transfer window thus far, William Saliba has been loaned straight back to Saint Etienne.

The lack of additions, alongside the possible departures of both Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi, could leave Unai extremely light on numbers at the back. It’s clear that those in power at the club are keen to sort the situation out as swiftly as possible.

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