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Arsenal face competition in pursuit of Issa Diop

Toulouse defender Issa Diop

Bengaluru, February 15: Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan have all sent scouts to watch Toulouse defender Issa Diop in action this season, according to reports.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a promising campaign with the Ligue 1 side and, despite his age, is the club captain.

And Mundo Deportivo report scouts from several major clubs were present to watch him during Toulouse's clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Diop had the unenviable task of marking Neymar that day, and lived up to his task with great excellence.

However, he was unfortunately awarded an own goal when the Brazilian's effort deflected of the France Under 21 international and into the back of the net for the game's only goal.

Diop is the grandson of the first-ever Senegalese player to play in Ligue 1 in Labysse Diop, but the current Toulouse skipper was born locally and represents France at international level.

Although he is yet to get his senior debut, he is a regular in the France under-21 side.

The youngster started his career with SC Balma in 2004, before making the move to Toulouse two years later.

The 21-year-old also qualifies to play for Morocco through his mother.

And the North African country's manager Herve Renard has contact him to offer him a chance to part of their World Cup squad.

Arsenal have a long-standing interest in the young centre-back but have to fend off competition from some of Europe's biggest clubs if they have to sign the player.

Barcelona and Real Madrid both entering the race for the young stopper is a bad news for Arsenal who are in a desperate need of strengthening their backline in the summer.

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    Story first published: Thursday, February 15, 2018, 14:35 [IST]
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