Arsenal are struggling to sign a centre back ahead of the new season.
Although Arsenal struck early to secure the services of Granit Xhaka, this summer’s transfer window has proven to be very frustrating for the Gunners.
Despite having made concrete offers for Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, both players decided to turn down moves to the Emirates and remain at Leicester City. While supporters would loved to have see either player make the move to London, Arsenal’s lack of transfer activity has really been felt in the heart of their defence.
With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel sidelined with injury, and Laurent Koscielny not yet ready to return following the European Championships, Arsenal were forced to rely on inexperienced duo, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding against Liverpool.
The inevitable followed, as Arsenal conceded four goals in their opening day defeat. As a result, the Gunners have been scouring Europe for defensive cover, a situation made all the more complicated by their laboured pursuit of Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi.
Although Arsenal may still sign the German international, Arsene Wenger has reportedly been keeping an eye on alternative targets.
When it was initially reported that Arsenal were keen on signing Shkodran Mustafi, Arsenal fans were ecstatic. This is after all a player who is rated highly and can offer something in the here and now rather than in five years time.
Nevertheless, although Valencia seem to be willing to sell the player, Arsenal are reluctant to meet their £30 million asking price.
Sold by Manchester United for £6 million last summer, West Brom could make a tidy profit if Arsenal are forced to make a panicked move for the player.
Indeed, the most recent reports suggest that Arsenal will have to pay more than £16 million to sign Evans.
Yesterday the Daily Mail reported that Arsenal had also made an enquiry as to the availability of Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.
Despite impressing for Diego Simeone’s side, Atletico are reportedly willing to sell the 21 year old Uruguayan international for £40 million – a price tag some way short of Gimenez’s £56 million release clause.
Nevertheless, the large transfer fee remains a stumbling block for Arsenal, and as a result, a deal in unlikely.
Although Southampton’s Jose Fonte has already expressed an interest in joining Manchester United, ESPN reported that the Gunners have joined the race to sign the 32 year old.
At £10 million, Fonte would be a cheaper option than many of the other central defenders that have been linked with Arsenal.
However, given his age, the Portuguese international may only prove to be a short term option.
Although Simon Kjaer was once regarded as one of Europe’s most highly rated defenders, his stock has dwindled in recent years.
Despite being linked with moves to some of Europe’s biggest clubs during the early part of his career, Kjaer disappointed during spells with Wolfsburg and Roma, and he now finds himself playing with Fenerbahce in Turkey.
However, Arsenal do not appear to be too worried by this and according to ESPN, Fenerbahce would be willing to sell the centre back for a fee in excess of £13 million.