Arsene Wenger has confirmed his interest in Tyrone Mings amid speculation the Arsenal manager will push to sign the coveted Ipswich Town defender in the fast approaching January transfer window.
It was claimed by The Telegraph late on Thursday that Wenger has set aside £8 million of his budget for the winter window to pursue a move for Mings, and he was asked to respond to the report during his press conference the following morning.
Wenger very rarely will entertain such questions with a response of any value but, on this occasion, chose to reveal that Mings is indeed a player under consideration, although Arsenal are not close to signing the 21-year-old.
"We are following a few young players but we are not close to signing anybody,” Wenger said.
“[Mings] is one of the young players we follow.”
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Arsenal have identified defensive cover as a priority for next month’s transfer period and Wenger could kill two birds with one stone should he acquire Mings, who can provide both a short-term fix to an injury crisis and a long-term solution at the back.
Mings operates in the main on the left-side of the Ipswich back-four but, it has been reported, Wenger believes the Englishman, who has not made an international under-21 appearance, can develop into a central defender.
The 6ft3in youngster has established himself as Ipswich’s first-choice left-back following the departure of Aaron Cresswell to West Ham in the summer transfer window, and the Suffolk club will demand a top price if he too is to move to the Premier League.
Cresswell joined West Ham for a fee rising to £7 million and, given Mings’ supposed greater potential, Ipswich value him at £10 million. It is unclear if Arsenal would be prepared to raise their starting offer.
He is hardly the signing to placate Arsenal fans desperate for a central defender of repute to be added to their depleted ranks, Mats Hummels has been mentioned, but would be an exciting addition to this growing English contingent at the Emirates Stadium.