Arsene Wenger draws up three-man central defender shortlist

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Football News

Arsenal fans must be wondering why Arsene Wenger has left it until the final week of the two-month summer transfer window to make signings.

The club may have moved to sign Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Takuma Asano but it’s clear that the Gunners need further reinforcements if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.

There are two positions that the north Londoners clearly need to strengthen.

Wenger has made it obvious that he wants to add another striker to his ranks to challenge Olivier Giroud after attempts to sign Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette fell through.

But his search for a new forward appears to one coming to an end after numerous reports suggested that they have triggered the €20 million release clause of Deportivo’s Lucas Perez.

The other position they desperately need to strengthen is in central defence.

Per Mertesacker is ruled out until the new year while Gabriel is also sidelined for up to six weeks. Their defensive crisis resulted in inexperienced pair Holding and Calum Chambers playing in their opening Premier League match against Liverpool - which they lost 4-3.

The three-man shortlist

So, with six days remaining in the transfer window, Wenger has drawn up a three-man shortlist for defenders he wants to sign.


This is according to the Telegraph, who claim that in this list is Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio. The 25-year-old Argentinian was linked with the Emirates club at the beginning of the summer with him being rated at just £12 million. However, the report claims that the price would have increased dramatically after he has since been granted EU status after being in Spain for seven years.


Elsewhere on the list in Roma’s Kostas Manolas. The Greek, who is also 25, played in all but one of Roma’s Serie A league matches last season as they came third in the table. However, after the Italians failed to qualify for the Champions League after defeat to Porto in the qualifiers, he could be tempted with a move to England.


The Telegraph are unsure if the third man on the list is Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi - who has been a long-term target for Wenger. They haven’t given up hope of signing the German, though it appears the Spanish club are now wanting more than the £25 million they originally quoted.

Whether Wenger can sign one of these three players before the transfer window slams shut remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt he desperately wants to add a centre-back to his squad before September 1.

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