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Arsenal linked with Algerian defender Mandi

Arsenal have made an enquiry for Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi, according to Spanish media outlet Eldesmarque.

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The Algerian international has been playing in La Liga since making his move from French side Reims a few years ago, where he has turned into a central defender after beginning his career as a right-back.

The 27-year-old has helped Real Betis to the last 32 of this season’s Europa League, and Betis rejected a bid of €14 million from West Ham in the summer.

Mandi helped Algeria reach the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup, and started against eventual world champions Germany in the tournament back in Brazil.

However, although there is a €30 million release clause in his contract, the Gunners are unwilling to spend that much money due to their limited spending power in January.

Ismael Bennacer is the only Algerian international to have been at Arsenal, however he never made an appearance for the first team. The North Londoners have a huge Algerian fan base in Finsbury Park.

Mandi has been playing in a back three all season in Spain, which could suggest a future formation Unai Emery wants to move towards. Follow all the Algerian football transfers in English with DZ Football.

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