Arsenal Chasing £10m-Rated Olympiacos Defender Pape Abou Cisse


Exclusive - Arsenal are interested in striking a deal with Olympiacos for Pape Abou Cisse, as they look to sign two central defenders this summer.

Manager Unai Emery is keen to reinforce his backline after seeing his side fail to qualify for this season's Champions League - conceding 51 goals en-route to a fifth place Premier League finish.

The Gunners have been tracking young Saint Etienne defender William Saliba for a number of weeks, but a deal is still a long way from being agreed - with ​north London rivals Tottenham having tabled a €30m bid for the player.

But Arsenal do have other irons in the fire, and 23-year-old Cisse is a player on the club's radar after being extensively scouted last season. It's 90min's understanding that the Gunners believe a deal around the £10m mark could be agreed with Olympiacos; a relative bargain in the current transfer market.

The 6ft 6in Senegalese international has been playing in Greece for two seasons, but despite his relative inexperience at the highest level, Arsenal's scouting team believe he is ready to become an immediate starter - should he decide his future lies at the Emirates Stadium.

Were he to arrive, he'd provide competition in a central defensive unit which has some uncertainty hanging over it at present. Club captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel for the club's pre-season tour to the United States last week, while Shkodran Mustafi's future at the club remains uncertain despite his willingness to stay.

Rob Holding, meanwhile, is recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and is not expected to be fit for the opening day of the season clash with Newcastle on August 11.

Cisse, who has made 45 appearances for Olympiacos since joining from AC Ajaccio two years ago, is currently on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal, with The Lions of Teranga set to face Algeria in the tournament's final on July 19.