New Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova's quest to strengthen his defence has led him to Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny, it has been claimed.

Vilanova, who succeeded Pep Guardiola at the Nou Camp following the latter's resignation, has reportedly identified the need for reinforcements in defence as a priority this summer, and is seemingly keen on Koscielny.

According to Metro, a bid for the Arsenal star is under serious consideration from Barcelona, and the Gunners may now hasten contract negotiations with the France international in the hope of keeping Barca at bay.

Koscielny was a somewhat surprising acquistion from Lorient in the summer of 2010, but the 26-year-old flourished at the heart of the Arsenal defence last season to establish himself as one of Arsene Wenger's key performers.

Despite the signing of Per Mertesacker last August, Koscielny was able to retain a regular staring place and formed a formidable partnership with Thomas Vermaelen during the latter stages of the last campaign.

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