Serie A clubs AC Milan and Roma are both keen on Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny, according to Italian outlet Calcio Mercato.
They report that the Frenchman – who has refused to go on the Gunners’ pre-season tour of America – is wanted by both clubs as they step up their attempts to improve their backlines for the new campaign.
Roma seem especially keen to add new blood and experience to their defence, with the Sun reporting this week that they want Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, but are struggling to come up with the cash.
But £90,000-a-week (Spotrac) ace Koscielny would come cheaper than Alderweireld’s £25 million release clause, given that he is older and himself has just the one year left on his contract.
Tottenham could well be set for an unlikely boost in their bid to keep Alderweireld from across north London, with Arsenal now reportedly happy to sell their captain provided their valuation is met.
Alderweireld performed well last season despite his contract uncertainty, whereas Koscielny has seemingly burned his bridges at Arsenal, which is even more damaging given his role as captain.
It seems unlikely that Roma would sign two aging centre halves in the same summer, so it remains to be seen which one they get over the line.