Arsenal have been linked with a number of defenders following a long-term injury to Jurrien Timber, and Barcelona’s Jules Kounde is the latest name mooted for a move to the Emirates.

The France defender joined Barcelona from Sevilla for around £47m a year ago, and like Timber, is capable of playing as both a right-back and a centre-back.

Arsenal were linked with Kounde in the last few days, as Barcelona’s expected capture of Joao Cancelo, as well as their financial difficulties, may make the 24-year-old attainable.

However, Fabrizio Romano has claimed, as per CaughtOffside, that a move for Kounde is unlikely given the potentially high fee Arsenal would have to pay for him.

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“I’m aware there have been some reports of Arsenal looking at Jules Kounde as someone to replace Jurrien Timber,” he stated.

“My understanding, however, is that both Xavi and Kounde have always been very clear, they want to keep going together at Barca, so at the moment the situation is quiet.

“In any case, Kounde would cost lot of money; not a cheap deal at all. I’m not aware of concrete contacts at this stage.”

Should Arsenal sign Kounde?

Aside from the financial aspects of any deal, Kounde may be the perfect replacement for Timber should Arsenal choose to enter the market for another defender.

The Frenchman established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe with Sevilla before his move to Barcelona, where he helped Xavi’s side win La Liga.

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Kounde prefers to play in the middle but played on the right for the majority of last season, and this even led to rumours that he would push for an exit earlier on in the window.

Kounde is very strong defensively, whilst comfortable on the ball and mobile. He seems almost perfectly suited to Mikel Arteta’s system, and would provide world-class cover in multiple positions. Given that Timber was brought in for his versatility, Kounde’s ability to cover at full-back and in the middle would be useful.

However, on the financial side of the deal, Arsenal would likely have to offer more than what Barcelona paid for him, and spending a significant amount on a player who may not be a guaranteed starter, with Timber also set to return next season, may be unrealistic.

A move therefore seems unlikely for now, but if the player were to become available in the future, he may be one that Arteta would be very keen on recruiting.

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