Arsenal eye 'adaptable' £5.5m defender addition

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Arsenal are ready to strengthen their defence with the addition of FC Basel defender Aleksandar Dragovic.

The 21-year-old Austrian international has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with Newcastle United also reportedly considering a move for the £5.5million-rated star, as reported by talkSPORT last week.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to add another central defender to his Emirates Stadium ranks in January, but Daily Mirror journalist and Arsenal fan John Cross, is not convinced that Dragovic is top of the Frenchman's shortlist.

"I do think that Arsenal still want a defender come January and certainly by next summer," he is quoted by BT Life's a Pitch. "They were trying to sign a versatile defender, that's the only drawback.

"Dragovic would have to be someone who could be adaptable – to be able to play centre-back and full-back as well."

With Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny currently in competition for two spots in Arsenal's starting XI, a new addition would certainly add some welcome competition in north London.

But, when it comes to a defensive 'jack-of-all-trades', Wenger may already have someone else in mind.

"The one they came closest to was the French international [Mapou] Yanga-Mbiwa at Montpellier," added Cross. "I think he would still be their priority. Dragovic would be a back-up plan."

Basel will be determined to keep hold of the Serbian-born stopper, who only joined the Swiss champions in February 2011. However, with interest thought to be high in the player, having attracted admiring glances from a number of clubs, Dragovic's departure is almost inevitable.

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