Thomas Vermaelen's £15m move to Barcelona has made it abundantly clear that there is a serious lack of top central defenders available on the market this summer, just ask Manchester United.
The Red Devils have spent the best part of two months chasing a peripheral Premier League figure who started just seven games for Arsenal last season, only to lose out in a major blow to their plans for the new campaign.
Admittedly Vermaelen started his Gunners career in terrific fashion and even managed eight goals in his debut season, but that campaign five years ago and injury problems have been commonplace ever season.
Barca are prepared to take a punt though and have left a string of Premier League clubs frantically scrambling to sign quality cover at centre-back before the transfer window slams shut.
United definitely need at least one more player in that position at a minimum, largely because new Red Devils chief Louis van Gaal favours a 3-5-2 formation which needs more options than normal.
Arsenal meanwhile are also definitely in for a versatile centre-back after allowing Vermaelen to move on in search of regular first-team football elsewhere, despite the overnight emergence of £16m starlet Calum Chambers.
At this late stage of the window though any purchase will come at a premium though, as proved by Manchester City's long-rumoured move for Eliaqium Mangala, which was completed today for a fee approaching €40m.
With defensive additions a top priority across the Premier League GMS has decided to profile five stars who fit the bill on the next few pages, which could solve the problems at your club and not before time.
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