Arsenal: Danish defender lined-up; Lacazette latest; Mahrez staying at Leicester
With Arsene Wenger’s need for a centre-half becoming increasingly desperate. The Gunners have been linked with Valencia’s German international centre-half Shkodran Mustafi for several weeks, and although Arsenal fans can welcome the news that Sky Germany via Sky Sports News reports that talks are underway between Arsenal and the Spanish club over the 24-year-old, Wenger is prepared to turn to another centre-back for added experience in the form of Fenerbahce defender Simon Kjaer.
The signing of Mustafi may be nearing completion however, following claims from the Mirror‘s John Cross that the La Liga side are prepared to part ways with the German in an effort to balance the books this summer, but Kjaer may now also be a priority target following injury to Gabriel Paulista, with Per Mertesacker already on the sidelines.
The inexperience of Arsenal’s young defence-in-reserve was brutally exposed for all to see as Liverpool hit four on the opening weekend at the Emirates, so the signing of not one but two experienced defenders to sure-up Arsenal’s stuttering rear-guard looks now to be on Wenger’s list of priorities.
The timing of this latest speculation over Mustafi and Kjaer comes as the Mirror also reports that the Gunners are interested in another centre-half, Atlético Madrid’s José Gimenez, though Cross claims that the North Londoners are set to be priced out of any deal.
The Gunners have been long-term admirers of the Uruguayan defender, however the rojiblancos are looking for a price in excess of £40million to part with the player, rendering Mustafi- whom Arsenal are looking to land for roughly half of that amount- far more of a viable option and bargain in the eyes of Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board.
Meanwhile, forward target Alexandre Lacazette continues to be the subjectof speculation. Arsenal have already seen a £30million bid turned away by the French international’s club Olympique Lyonnais, however following his hat-trick in Lyon’s 3-0 win over Nancy on the opening weekend of the Ligue 1 season, the striker has hinted that he would be open for a move away. Arsenal remain interested, but are yet to make an improved offer for the forward.
Speaking to Canal+ when quizzed over a move away, the forward said, as told by Sky Sports News:
“If there are offers that can’t be refused, then I’d like not to refuse them”.
Elsewhere, Arsenal look set to miss out on another player to be linke with them over the summer, in the shape of Leicester’s star wide-man Riyad Mahrez, after the Algerian put pen to paper on a new four-year contract with the defending Premier League champions.
The 25-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates after registering 17 goals and 11 assists for the Foxes in their Premier League conquering campaign last term. He joins Wes Morgan, Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Andy King in penning new deals at the King Power, which will be of bitter disappointment to Arsene Wenger and indeed to Arsenal fans optimistic about the Algerian’s desire to join the North London club.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Simon Kjaer.
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