Barcelona have earmarked Chelsea and Arsenal target Nicolas N'Koulou as their main transfer priority for the forthcoming January window, according to talkSPORT.

The 22-year-old Marseille star is widely regarded as one of the most promising young defenders in all of Ligue 1, and has attracted widespread interest from a host of top European clubs.

Since moving to the Stade Velodrome from Monaco in 2011, N'Koulou has become a permanent first-team fixture, making 40 appearances in all competitions last season, as well as starting all nine of Marseille's league games in 2012/13.

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo is believed to have been monitoring his progress as he considers an attempt to lure him to Stamford Bridge, while Gunners chief Arsene Wenger is also thought to be keen on the Cameroon international's signature, as he looks to further strengthen his defensive options at the Emirates Stadium.

AC Milan and Roma have been mooted as potential destination for the in-demand defender, but Barcelona are now best-placed to secure N'Koulou's future, despite his current contract running until 2015.

The fact he still has two-and-a-half years to run on his existing deal, puts Marseille in a strong bargaining position, and the French club have slapped a £14.5million price-tag over his head, in an attempt to ward off potential bids.

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