Arsenal identify Kostas Manolas as most realistic defender target

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Check out all the latest Arsenal news and transfer gossip from today.

Arsene Wenger has identified Manchester United target Kostas Manolas as the most realistic centre-back target for Arsenal this summer and is preparing a £6 million bid for the Olympiakos defender. (Daily Telegraph)

Injury problems at the start of the season have highlighted the Gunners desperate need for defensive reinforcements with Wenger particularly short on options in the middle of his back line.

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Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are the only senior centre-back specialists in Arsenal's first-team squad following the £15m departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona.

Summer signing Calum Chambers has been deployed in that problem position while left-back Nacho Monreal is currently viewed as fourth-choice emergency cover.

But, with Kieran Gibbs sidelined for a few weeks the Spaniard will now revert to his favoured position leaving Arsenal very light in the centre.

The Gunners are currently in Turkey preparing for tonight's Champions League first leg qualifier against Besiktas, and fans will be hoping the travelling squad is strong enough to maintain their place in Europe's elite club competition.

Arsenal transfer gossip:

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is considering bringing Barcelona midfielder Alex Song back to the Emirates. (Daily Mail)

The report has suggested that the Gunners boss, who has already landed Alexis Sanchez from the Catalan club in this transfer window, could now turn his attentions to Song as he looks to improve his midfield options in north London.

AC Milan are leading the race to sign Arsenal target Douglas Costa this month with the Brazilian playmaker set on leaving Shakhtar Dontesk before the transfer window closes. (talkSPORT)

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to add the 23-year-old to his ranks but is unwilling to meet the Ukrainian club's £30 million valuation.

Arsenal's hopes of signing Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho have been dealt a blow following news that Chelsea are poised to make a €44 million bid for the Sporting Lisbon star. (A Bola)

The talented youngster has long been linked with the Premier League having earned rave reviews for his performances over the past year, but it appears that Stamford Bridge - not the Emirates Stadium - is now the 22-year-old's most likely destination.

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