Arsenal have stepped up their interest in bringing Swansea centre-back Ashley Williams to the club, according to SkySports. 

The transfer revelation comes with news of club captain Thomas Vermaelen’s persistent back injury that could see him miss the start of the new campaign.

Williams, who was at the heart of Swansea’s triumph in the League Cup last year, has been on Arsene Wenger’s radar for some months.

Speculation was rife that Arsenal would apply pressure on Swansea to sell their captain, but this appeared to go cold when the Gunners seemed reluctant to meet the £10million price tag being requested.

It is now thought that Wenger’s hand may be forced into purchasing a centre-back during the transfer market. If reports over Vermaelen’s injury are true, it would leave Arsenal with only two recognised centre-backs - Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny - heading into the new season.

Vermaelen has been struggling for some time with a back problem and hasn’t travelled with the squad for their pre-season tour of Asia.

According to the Daily Mail, rumours suggest that Arsenal’s Belgian defender could miss up to three months of the new season, meaning Wenger may well revive his interest in Williams.


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