Football

Gunners given chance in African ace chase

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Arsenal target Pape Diakhate could be on the verge of a Dynamo Kiev exit after it emerged the club is willing to listen to offers.

The Ukranian Premier League defender has been on the radar at the Emirates for some time now, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger a known admirer of the powerful Senegalese centre back.

Diakhaté joined Nancy in France as a youth player before making his senior debut as a teenager in 2001. Signed by Kiev in the summer of 2007, the defender quickly established himself at the Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium before breaking a colar bone.

Despite recovering from injury and forcing his way back into the side, Kiev loaned Diakhaté to Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne in January this year with a view to selling him for £7.25 million in the summer.

However, Les Verts declined to take up the transfer option, leaving the African international returning to the Ukraine and his parent club.

The Daily Mail reports that Dynamo Kiev will now listen to lower offers for the defender, with Lille reportedly interested in a £6 million move.

Bilo-Syni will hope for more if they can get it, with Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland also thought to be keen. It's the Gunners who are favourites though, with defender Bacary Sagna urging Frenchman Wenger to move for the player as recently as May.

Despite the addition of Laurent Koscielny at the Emirates, Arsenal still appear light at the centre back position ahead of another Premier League title challenge. Wenger is keen to bring another player in after the departures of Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas on free transfers.

The future of Sol Campbell remains in doubt, and his departure would leave minimal numbers in that position in north London. Diakhaté would be seen as an ideal replacement for the club, and a move for the 26-year-old could be on the cards if the former England international makes the anticipated move to Celtic.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League

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