Gunners prepare first summer signing - dispatch scouts for Ukrainian international defender

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Arsenal have already begun their summer search for a new defender, according to reports.

Yaroslav Rakitskiy is the latest centre back to emerge as potential Emirates signing, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger sending scouts to watch the Shakhtar Donetsk star.

A 21-year-old Ukrainian international, Rakitskiy has earned rave reviews for his performances in the Ukrainian Premier League, helping the Girnyky to the title last season.

Wenger was keen to add a defender to his Arsenal squad during the January transfer window, with Per Mertesacker, Gary Cahill and Chris Samba all linked with moves to north London.

However, the Gunners chief failed to secure the signature of any of the players amidst an injury crisis at the back for the club, and has already begun his search for a summer signing in order to avoid disappointment.

The Daily Star Sunday reports that the Frenchman is keen to make a long-term addition that will benefit Arsenal for seasons to club, and that the club will have the player watched for the remainder of the season.


Despite his young years, Rakitskiy has decent experience at both international and european competition level, and would be a solid addition for Arsenal should they persuade the player to move to the Barclays Premier League.

He impressed for his club during Champions League clashes against Arsenal, a factor that is thought to have been involved with regards to the Gunners' interest.

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