Arsenal is gunning for defender Nicolas Nkoulou, but he won’t be pried from Marseilles so easily it seems. How much will it take to get him?
The Gunners face a somewhat harder task in trying to land Marseilles defender Nicolas Nkoulou after the Ligue 1 club’s president insisted he is not for sale.
According to the Express, Marseilles president Vincent Labrune is determined to keep Nkoulou in France despite growing interest in the 25-year-old Cameroonian defender – interest that would in turn mean more money for the French club.
“We know how important he is for us,” Labrune said. “What he brings us on the pitch is more important than money in a transfer.”
After several successful years with Monaco, and despite receiving offers from Arsenal, Hull City, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid back in 2011, Nkoulou signed with Marseilles on a four-year deal in 2011 and he quickly became one of the most dominant defenders in Ligue 1. He was elected to back-to-back Ligue 1 Team of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013. Notably, he was placed on the same Ligue 1 Team of the Year as Arsenal stars Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud, so there are connections for him at Emirates Stadium.
With Marseilles coming off a 4th-place finish on the Ligue 1 table, it is easy to understand the club’s hesitancy to give up one of their most valuable players – regardless of the money that may be offered.