Arsenal have set their sights on bolstering their defensive ranks, with reports of strong interest in Barcelona centre-back Jules Kounde.

The 25-year-old, currently on the books at Barcelona following his move from Sevilla, has emerged as a prime target for the Gunners as they aim to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season.

Reports indicate that the Catalans may be forced to offload the France international due to ongoing financial pressures, with a transfer fee in the region of 60 million euros being quoted.

Arsenal, keen to shore up their defence after narrowly missing out on the league title last term, have already initiated contact with Barcelona to explore the possibility of a transfer.

Sources close to the negotiations suggest that the Spanish giants are deliberating their response to Arsenal’s approach, requesting time to assess their squad needs.

Kounde, known for his versatility that allows him to excel both as a centre-back and a full-back, is seen as a player capable of making an immediate impact in the Premier League.

Having proven himself in La Liga with both Sevilla and Barcelona, Kounde’s potential arrival at Arsenal would address a crucial area of concern for manager Mikel Arteta.

With defensive solidity being a key priority for the Gunners in their bid to compete with the likes of Manchester City at the top of the table, Kounde’s skill set and experience could provide the necessary edge.

For Arsenal fans eagerly anticipating their team’s next move in the transfer market, securing Kounde’s signature would be a statement of intent ahead of what promises to be a highly competitive season in the Premier League.