Arsenal are giving serious thought to a cut-price summer swoop for Borussia Dortmund star Neven Subotic this summer, with bolstering defensive options still a priority despite the January signing of Gabriel Paulista.
Subotic will enter the final year of his current contract at Dortmund this summer, which means that without an agreement over fresh terms the Bundesliga giants may be forced to cash in rather than risk losing him for free in 2016.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of the Serbian international, who could fit the bill as Per Mertesacker's replacement and at a price which doesn't take a huge chunk out of his summer transfer budget.
Plenty of top clubs watching situation
ESPN report that sources they trust believe Suboitc is on Arsenal's shortlist of targets, but Wenger is far from alone in courting a player who would have no trouble adapting to life in North London.
Subotic speaks perfect English thanks to a teenage years spent in the United States, which would certainly help smooth his transition to the Premier League. Juventus, Roma and Napoli are all monitoring the situation closely though, while Chelsea and Manchester United have also previously scouted a player who was magnificent on Dortmund's run to the 2013 Champions League final.
Injury record would be a worry
There are very few negatives when you look at a strong, composed centre-back in Subotic, but a patchy recent record when it comes to staying fully fit is definitely a black mark against any summer bid.
Subotic spent six months on the sidelines last season with a ruptured cruciate ligament, and although he's returned this season he's still working his way back towards top form.
Arsenal in particular should be looking into his medical records with scrutiny, because given their own horrid recent injury record taking on another risky case would be bordering on negligent.
For less than £10m Arsenal should do business
Wenger has options at centre-back and has finally found a replacement for ex-skipper Thomas Vermaelen in Gabriel, but finding the man to fill Mertesacker's shoes must be a priority.
Mertesacker turns 31 in September and while he can certainly still be an asset to the squad his starting spot should be under huge threat.
Subotic would certainly provide strong competition for places and ensure Mertesacker, Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny know they have to be on top form to warrant a place in the side, not to mention the development of a youngster in Calum Chambers that looks to be a centre-back not a full-back.
Arsenal should enter the race for Subotic if there continues to be no sign of contract talks, which is quite surprising as Dortmund were quick to secure the future of Marco Reus last month.
Wenger's side look to be just one or two top signings shy of mounting a genuine title challenge next term, a player with experience in abundance like Subotic could be a valuable addition.
Arsenal fans, would you take Subotic this summer if Dortmund don't offer him a new contract? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!
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