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Arsenal Linked With Atletico Madrid Defender

Arsenal look to be in the market for another defender, with the club being heavily linked to Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger still needs to put the finishing touches on his squad for the season with a defender and defensive midfielder on the top of the shopping list. A fortunate opening day victory against Crystal Palace will help focus minds at the Emirates.

Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports that Arsene Wenger is keen on getting  Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld as cover for a defence depleted by the departure of captain Thomas Vermaelen. The new target, also a Belgian, would be an attractive option as he can cover centre back and right back, versatility that could come in handy over the long season.

The 25-year-old joined Atletico last summer from Ajax but has struggled to make an impact on the first team with the La Liga champions, and could now be available for a transfer.

Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski could be on the way out, according to a report in The Mirror. Turkish side Galatasaray had being hoping to bag Gunners duo Joel Campbell and the German but while Wenger is believed to be prepared to let the latter go for a fee of about £12 million, the Costa Rican, who impressed in The World Cup and is currently on loan at Olympiakos, is not for sale.

Serie A clubs Inter Milan and AC Milan are also understood to be interested in 29-year-old Podolski, who has been a popular figure at the Emirates over the past few seasons.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that in the wake of the injury to Mikel Arteta the possibility of Sami Khedira ending up at the Emirates is back on the cards. The German had been linked with a move to the Emirates all summer but his £150,00-a-week wage demands had deterred Wenger from making the splurge.

But now the Frenchman may rethink as Real Madrid seem very keen to offload World Cup winner, slashing the price tag from £24 million to a bargain basement £12 million. Defensive midfield is certainly an area that needs to be addressed and Khedira could be a more cost effective option than the pricey Portuguese player William Carvalho who could set the Gunners boss back up to £35 million.

Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.

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