Footybunker.com reports that Arsenal are close to a deal with Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker, thought to be around £6m.
Arsene Wenger has been frustrated by Premiership clubs’ evaluations of some of his targets. The Frenchman looks all but priced out of moves for Everton’s Phil Jagielka, Bolton’s Gary Cahill and Blackburn’s Christopher Samba.
Though Mertesacker is of comparable quality to these players, the fact that he is now in the last year of his contract makes Werder Bremen far more likely to sell.
With the German defender speaking recently about his desire to further his career by playing abroad, particularly singling out the Premiership as the league for him, Bremen can be sure they will lose the player for free at the end of next season.
That being said, £6m would represent a good bit of business and allow them to reinvest in that position before the transfer window closes.
Wenger has been looking all summer for a defender to partner Thomas Vermaelen at centre-back. The recent injury to the Belgian will make this issue yet more pressing.
Wenger’s characteristic reluctance to invest heavily in players over a certain age will be questioned if this transfer is allowed to slip by. Put simply, regardless of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s potential, it makes no sense to invest at least £12m in a young attacker, when the team desperately needs a centre-back.
With Mertesacker favouring a move to the Gunners over other discussed options, it seems that all is left is for Wenger to place a bid.