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Arsenal Open Talks With Anderlecht Defender Cheikhou Kouyate

Gunners close to landing potential Vermaelen replacement.

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Arsenal are said to be closing in on the signature of Anderlecht centre-back Cheikhou Kouyate, who was originally a target for the club back in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Star.

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According to the player’s agent, Saffet Balkan, both Arsenal and Premier League rivals Liverpool had shown a significant interest in landing him over the new year period only for nothing to materialise.

However, Balkan now admits that talks have begun with the Gunners over a possible transfer, though he also confessed he has met with West Ham’s representatives in the coming days as they too are interested in bringing him on board.

“I have met representatives from Arsenal and West Ham over Kouyate in Belgium. We are currently in talks,” Balkan said.

“I will also meet with representatives from Galatasaray and CSKA in Istanbul later today to discuss an offer for Kouyate,”

The Senegalese-born stopper has been a key figure for Anderlecht this season, who turned down an approach from La Liga outfit Valencia for his services during the last transfer window.

His signature has become more appealing now he is the proud owner of a Belgian passport and can freely work anywhere within the EU without a work permit.

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