Arsenal will have their work cut out this summer if they are to recruit a replacement to match the quality leaving the squad in the form of Bacary Sagna if he accepts an offer from Manchester City, as has been reported, and it appears Arsene Wenger's attentions have turned towards the Bundesliga.
According to the Daily Mirror, the Gunners' manager is taking an interest in Schalke 04 star Atsuto Uchida and has sent scouts to keep a close eye on him playing for Japan in the World Cup this summer. The 26-year-old is a regular at the Gelsenkirchen club and has steadily progressed to become one of the Bundesliga's most impressive full-backs since he joined Schalke from Kashima Antlers in his home land.
Uchida is one of a number of possible targets lined up by Arsenal, according to the report, though his vast international and Champions League experience could give him the edge. Serge Aurier of Toulouse and Juanfran of Atletico Madrid are other options, with the former being the favourite.
However, the report claims the Gunners have doubts over whether Aurier has the qualities to be the long-term replacement for Sagna, while Juanfran has just won La Liga with Atletico and could well prove difficult to prise away from Diego Simeone's side. However, Atleti have well documented financial issue and a sizeable bid could be persuasive enough for them to part company with one of the key men in their starting XI.