Arsenal will have to contest with La Liga leaders Barcelona if they want to sign defensive target Aymen Abdennour and are likely to miss out of the Catalan club make their interest concrete.

A report from the Daily Express claims Abdennour has been attracting interest from out of Camp Nou and Emirates Stadium after impressing for his side Toulouse.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger signed Spain international left-back Nacho Monreal in the January transfer window, but the report claims he is still keen on the 23-year-old Ligue 1 star.

However, should Arsenal decide to move for the Tunisia international they will have to convince him north London is the place to be rather than his “dream” destination of Barcelona.

“I am flattered by the interest of the biggest club in the world,” he is quoted as saying.

“Barça would be a dream come true but at the same time I have a contract until 2017.”

Arsenal currently have a shortage of defenders owing to ineligibility and injury.

Captain Thomas Vermaelen doubtful for the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich and Laurent Koscielny forced to pull out of the recent win over Sunderland in the warm-up.

Johan Djourou is out on loan at Hannover and flop Sebastien Squillaci will almost certainly depart in the summer when his contract expires.

Monreal is cup-tied for Europe and Andre Santos has just agreed to join Brazilian club Gremio on loan for a year, which makes Kieran Gibbs’ absence through injury even more untimely.

Wenger will have to play someone out of position when the Bundesliga leaders visit and the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are likely licking their lips at the prospect.

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