Koulibaly
Napoli's French defender Kalidou Koulibaly (R) fights for the ball with Frosinone's forward from Italy Daniel Ciofani during the Italian Serie A football match SSC Napoli vs Frosinone Calcio at the San Paolo stadium in NaplesGetty

Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly after having completed the signing of Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka. The Gunners are in the market for a centre-back and the 24-year-old has emerged as a possible prospect for the manager to add competition to the likes of Gabriel, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

The Telegraph reports that Chelsea and Manchester United are also interested in the defender who has had a productive season with Napoli. The Gunners have been exposed at the back for the relative inexperience of Gabriel while Mertesacker is also going into his final year in contract. Koscielny has entered his thirties and the Gunners are looking to build a succession plan for the French international who has missed parts of the recently concluded season through injury.

The Gunners have also been linked with a move for Bayern Munich defender Mehdi Benatia with the Moroccan international looking for a move out of the club in light of lack of game time. The 29-year-old has made only 30 appearances for the club in the last two seasons for Bayern but his progress has been hampered by a series of injuries which kept him out of action.

Meanwhile, Xhaka has revealed that his first conversation with Wenger took place over a year ago and that it was an emotional one for the Swiss international. The 23-year-old was unveiled on Wednesday, 25 May and will join up with the Gunners following the European Championships in France where he will be representing Switzerland.

"I was almost speechless when he called. Arsène is a legend for me. I often had him as a manager on the PlayStation. He's a gentleman, full stop," Xhaka said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

"It was a very difficult week for me. I found myself on tour with Gladbach in Switzerland and had to keep a muzzle on myself, even though that's not something I like to do," he added.