Alan Smith Makes Transfer Claims Concerning Arsenal’s Interest in Kalidou Koulibaly & Eric Bailly

​Alan Smith has suggested that Arsenal will struggle to strike a deal for Kalidou Koulibaly, but they should certainly consider a move for Eric Bailly.

Arsenal have been struggling for defensive options so far this season and, with Rob Holding set to be out of action for an extended period, reinforcements at the back are of high importance for Unai Emery in the January transfer window.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup: Quarter Final

The Gunners had been linked with a move for ​Napoli star Koulibaly, but Smith has claimed that the Italian club will do everything they can to hold on to one of their prize assets.

“I commentated on the Liverpool vs Napoli game and Koulibaly, the centre-half for Napoli, is very much sought after,” Smith told ​Express Sport.

“Whether ​Arsenal can get their clutches in for him, they’ll all be in for him, or most of the top teams in the Premier League.

SSC Napoli v Red Star Belgrade - UEFA Champions League Group C

“But I doubt if Napoli would let him go in January.”

Arsenal are also said to be keeping tabs on ​Manchester United defender ​Eric Bailly, who fell out of favour with former Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho after some shaky performances during the early stages of the season.

Huddersfield Town v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

Despite this, Smith is of the opinion that the Ivorian would prove to be an astute acquisition for Arsenal if they were willing to take a gamble.

“Eric Bailly obviously is of a good age,” he said. “He came into the United team and did really well.

Valencia v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League

“But he’s one of a few that got the wrong side of Jose Mourinho it seems, so there’s potential there.”

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