Arsenal confirmed in chase for Croatian starlet

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Arsenal have been named as one of the clubs following young Croatian prospect Sime Vrsaljko.

The teenage defender has been earning rave reviews at Prva HNL champions Dinamo Zagreb, and international recognition is thought to be around the corner after the player was included in the Croatian senior squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Malta.

A full back who is also comfortable in midfield positions, Marseille were thought to be keen on the player in the summer. However, it seems that Premier League clubs now lead the chase for the player with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger one of those keen to make the signing.

"I will tell you something, which is really exclusive, everybody wants Sime Vrsaljko," said club vice-president Zdravko Mamic in a press conference.

"I can tell you, that he is followed by Manchester United and also City, Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham, by everybody!"

Mamic insists the club have no intention of selling their 18-year-old starlet, but a major offer from a club like the Gunners would be too good to resist.

"Our wish is not to sell anybody from our team, but the truth is, that we can only survive if we sell our best players."

Wenger has a reputation for bringing the best out of young players at the Emirates, with a string of junior players fulfilling their potential under the Frenchman at Arsenal.

The signing of Eduardo from Zagreb in 2007 could also put Arsenal in a strong position, with the Gunners the only confirmed club to have recent relations with the Modri.

Croatian reports suggest that Arsenal, or any suitor, would have to pay in the region of £8 million for the precocious talent.

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