Arsenal transfer talks with Cheikhou Kouyate confirmed

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Arsenal have held talks with Belgian club Anderlecht over a possible deal for Cheikhou Kouyate, confirms the players agent.

The 24-year-old has long been linked with a move to the Gunners, with Arsene Wenger reported to a huge admirer.

A towering centre-back, Kouyate cuts the same mould held by former Wenger signings like Kolo Toure and Sol Campbell.

With growing speculation that Thomas Vermaelen could leave in the summer, it appears Arsenal have begin the process of replacing their captain. Keen to sign one of the most sought after players in Europe, Wenger has already held talks with his club over a potential deal.

His agent Saffet Balkan was quoted as saying by the Metro: "Arsenal have been tracking Cheikhou and have now made enquiries [to Anderlecht].

"Galatasaray and CSKA also keep close tabs on him. Valencia made a bid in January, but Anderlecht rejected the offer."

Anderlecht are keen to cash in on their star player and are thought to be requesting a fee in the region of £8m.

Vermaelen has been unable to retain a place in the Arsenal first team for over 12 months, losing out to both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. They have gone on to form an impressive partnership making it increasingly unlikely that Vermaelen will work his way back into the team.

It has led to reports that he will be looking to leave in the summer and Manchester United have been linked with a summer move in recent days.

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