Arsenal enter race for Liverpool target Marcos Rojo

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Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to sign Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon following reports of interest from Liverpool, reports A Bola.

Arsene Wenger is preparing a heavy summer of spending at the Emirates Stadium with as much as £70m believed to be available to him.

Fans of the Gunners would highlight the striker department as the one most in need of strengthening but it appears Wenger is first focusing on shoring up his defence.

Arsenal have got by with just three recognised centre-backs in their squad. Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen have all avoided injury this season while Bacary Sagna has provided ample cover at times.

However, Wenger must notice that an injury crisis akin to the one he experienced in midfield would have left Arsenal desperately short at the back and is looking to patch up the potential for disaster next season.

Wenger had sent Arsenal scouts to Portugal to run the rule over Argentine international Rojo several times this season but, according to reports in Portugal, the club are ready to step up their efforts to sign him this summer.

Those reports come shortly after Liverpool were linked with an imminent move for the defender as Brendan Rodgers looks to invest heavily in the squad ahead of next season's Champions League campaign.

Liverpool's Premier League form has benefited from the lack of European competition, but their top three finish means Champions League football will be back at Anfield and will likely stretch the squad to its limits next term.

However, both Arsenal and Liverpool face a serious obstacle if they want to sign Rojo, who is likely to be part of Argentina's World Cup squad. Like many South American footballers, Rojo is part-owned by a third party - Investment company Doyen Sports.

Premier League rules forbid clubs from signing players with third party owners, meaning Wenger and Rodgers will have to agree and pay a fee to both Sporting and Doyen Sports.

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