Arsenal agree deal to sign £30m defender in January

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Arsenal are in the market for a new defender in January following Rob Holding’s serious ligament setback.

Unai Emery is now preferring to play with three central defenders but has a limited number of options at his disposal following a spate of injuries and decision to allow Calum Chambers to join Fulham on loan for the season. The Gunners cannot recall Chambers, meaning the club must dip into the market in order to bolster defensive options.

Despite signing one defender from Dortmund in the summer, Mislintat and Arsenal are now thought to be in talks with the German table toppers in regards to a deal for Manuel Akanji. The 23-year-old has been one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga this season and has attracted interest from across Europe.

Dortmund signed Akanji from FC Basel in January 2018 for €18million

The Swiss international is very comfortable at playing out from the back, and that is what will really attract Emery and the club to the player. Unai is keen to implement this style of play at the club, but there are question marks as to whether some of the current Arsenal players are capable of doing this.

Borussia Dortmund are said to be ready to activate the £10million release clause of Fernando Calero. The Spanish central defender, currently at Real Valladolid is interesting clubs across Europe, but Dortmund is said to be his favoured destination. His arrival would make way for a departure, with Akanji the clubs most valuable asset. Dortmund are not blessed with financial strength and a bid in excess of £30million for the 13 times capped Swiss international would surely tempt the German giants, especially if a £10million replacement is in line.

Laurent Koscielny is set to return from injury this week, but the Frenchman is towards the end of his career and cannot be relied upon following recent injuries. Holding’s injury leaves Mustafi and Sokratis as the clubs only other senior central defenders.

Arsenal had said they would not enter the market in January unless a significant injury occurred. Major injuries to Danny Welbeck and now Rob Holding may force the club to open their wallet in the winter window.


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