Over the past few seasons, we’ve been treated to some fascinating contests involving each of these three giants of world soccer. But if recent speculation is anything to go by, we could be set to see some fierce off-the-field competition between Arsenal, Barcelona, and European Champions Chelsea in the coming months.
Metro reports that Barcelona have now joined Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Marseille centre-back Nicolas N’Koulou. The Cameroonian has produced a string of fine performances, including a man-of-the-match display in last season’s 1-0 Coupe de la Ligue final against Lyon.
Catalan giants Barca are allegedly confident of securing a deal ahead of their English rivals, despite the fact that the Gunners and the Blues have been scouting N’Koulou for some time now. Described by his fellow professionals as mature beyond his years, the athletic defender is just 22 years of age but has already established himself as a star for both club and country.
Of the three clubs N’Koulou has been linked with, one would have to assume Arsenal would be the least likely destination. Given the Gunners’ impressive defensive improvements this term that have seen the north-London side produce the most miserly defence in the Premier League thus far, the strengthening of other areas of the side is arguably of more importance.
For Chelsea and Barcelona however, defensive concerns are slightly more pressing. They have conceded 9 and 11 goals respectively from their opening nine games this term, and despite being top of their domestic leagues will be keen to fortify a potentially problematic area of their squads. Barcelona’s need is perhaps the greatest due to the extended lay-off that skipper Carlos Puyol now faces after sustaining a nasty arm injury at the start of the month.
Nonetheless, there is still plenty of time for circumstances to change before the opening of the January transfer window. Any of the three sides could drop out of the race, while further clubs could register interest of their own as the Cameroonian’s budding reputation grows.
Stay posted here on SWOL for further news and updates as the January transfer period draws ever nearer.