Arsenal target wants to finish season at Anderlecht

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Arsenal, Newcastle United and Southampton have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Cheikhou Kouyate after he revealed plans to stay at Anderlecht for the remainder of the season, reports talkSPORT.

The 23-year-old defender has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, as an increasing number of admirers continue to monitor his development in Belgium.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was credited with an interest in bringing Kouyate to the Emirates Stadium during the summer, but was unable to agree a fee with Anderlecht, who refused to lower his £7million asking price.

However, Arsenal might make another attempt to sign the Senegalese international, though it looks like any transfer will not be possible in January.

Alan Pardew has also been keeping tabs on Kouyate's situation at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, as Newcastle weigh up a rival bid to lure the player to St James' Park, while Saints are also believed to be contenders for the centre-back's signature.

All the interested parties must wait until the end of 2013/14 before beginning negotiations though, after Kouyate - who could now leave for £5.5million - expressed his desire to win his fourth Belgian Pro League title before leaving Anderlecht.

"I want to finish the season here," he told La Derniere Heure. "I want to win the title with Anderlecht.

"And if this is not the case, I still want to go. I do not want to leave this team now. I will design a transfer at the end of the season."

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