Arsenal appear to be scrambling for defensive cover in the final days of the transfer window according to ESPN FC.
A long-term injury to veteran Per Mertesacker, with Gabriel also sidelined, has left the already under pressure Arsene Wenger to speed up his transfer activity.
Shkodran Mustafi of Valencia has been in Arsenal’s sights for weeks, with Ömer Toprak and Danish international Simon Kjaer also lined up as alternatives. Progress has stalled on the Mustafi front though, and the Gunners may look closer to home for a defender if ESPN are to be believed.
Sources have reportedly told the outlet that Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte has received an approach from not only Manchester United, but also Arsenal.
The Red Devils have found themselves linked with the Portuguese since their world record signing of Paul Pogba last week, but progress there has also stalled. The big-spending Jose Mourinho has apparently been told by United top brass that he must sell first before buying, with United’s influx of signings not yet met by resultant outgoings.
While Mustafi would require Arsenal to part with upwards of £30m, Fonte’s arrival would cost them £10m, due to being 32 years of age.
Fonte wouldn’t represent a long-term option for Arsene Wenger, but considering his transfer crisis thus far, and his team’s defensive deficiency, the move would make sense.