Confirmed by BBC: Arsenal announce deal for star defender – Not Sokratis

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Arsenal fans and supporters world wide will have more reason to smile due to the recent activities in the Gunners boardroom.

According to reliable sources making the rounds, Arsenal have increased Unai Emery’s transfer budget from an earlier reported £50m to £70m.

The Gunners are also reported to be closing in on the free transfer for Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus after the player reportedly visited Arsenal’s training ground.

Lichtsteiner has been a long-time target for the club but they had no hope of getting him out of Juve until now.

34 and out of contract in the summer, the Gunners are targeting him as an experienced international who can bring leadership to the squad and guidance for Hector Bellerin.

David Ornstein

@bbcsport_david

Arsenal are working on a deal to sign Switzerland right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer when the 34-year-old’s Juventus contract expires this summer. Lichtsteiner a long-term target who see adding experience/leadership to head coach Unai Emery’s squad

Francesco Porzio@fraporzio95

L’ pensa a : il giocatore oggi si trovava al campo d’allenamento. Decisive le prossime ore

Arsenal, at present, have no defined right-back back-up for Bellerin but Lichtsteiner would bring so much more than that to the squad, as well as freeing up cash for other positions that desperately need reinforcement.

The story is something of a turnaround given that in December Juventus were said to be targeting Bellerin to replace the Swiss international. Bellerin has reiterated his happiness in London and his desire to stay with Arsenal.

“I’m playing in one of the biggest clubs in Europe and there’s always competition for places,”Lichtsteiner told Mediaset after making his 300th appearance against Bologna earlier this month. “But my future is going to be away from Turin. At the end of the season I’m leaving. I’ll play abroad next year but I’ve not signed anything yet.”

Lichtsteiner is expected to captain his country in Russia this summer.

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