Arsenal have been linked with a whole host of centre-backs over the past few months. The biggest issue with many of these targets, though, is the price.
Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti will cost £60m+, Roma defender Kostas Manolas’s release clause is £31m, while even Getafe defender Djene is said to be valued at close to £30m.
With young centre-backs like Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Saint Etienne’s William Saliba also costing in excess of £25m this summer, are there cheaper alternatives out there that the Gunners could pursue?
That may sound like a hard task in the current inflated transfer market, but one player who could be available is Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby.
The 22-year-old is being pursued by the likes of Wolves and Chelsea, according to the Sun, and has also been linked with Manchester City, Everton and Watford in the past.
Despite only joining Valencia last summer for £13.5m, he could be available for only £18.5m, which could prove to be a very good deal considering the season he has had in La Liga.
Diakhaby helped Los Ches keep the second best defensive record in the Spanish league last campaign, with his side conceding just 35 goals in 38 games.
The Frenchman made 16 starts in the league, with his side only losing three times during his time in the starting eleven. He also started three times in the Champions League group stages, conceding only three goals, despite facing both Juventus and Manchester United.
Diakhaby will also have come to the attention of Gunners fans after scoring the opening goal in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final.
The centre-back did not play in the second leg as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ran riot with the game at the Mestalla ending 4-2.
With all that being said then, Diakhaby would likely be a viable target. He is highly regarded at Valencia after a good first season but he isn’t fully trusted by manager Marcelino who sees Ezequiel Garay and ex-Arsenal Star Gabriel as his two first-choice centre-halves.
Still only 22, and reportedly available at a good price, the Gunners would be wise to scout the France Under 21 international as they to look to strengthen their fragile defence this summer.