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Wenger wants quality and quantity in Arsenal backline strengthening

| 26.04.2013

Long lambasted for his stubbornness in the transfer market, Arsene Wenger finally appears ready to swallow his pride this summer by significantly bolstering his Arsenal defence.

The Gunners chief is intent on securing the signatures of at least two new defenders in the close season, whilst he has also prioritised a move for a new goalkeeper after losing faith in Wojciech Szczesny.

And with an extensive scouting network at his disposal, Wenger appears ready to pluck talent from all corners of the continent to improve his playing squad, again remaining reluctant to outlay a significant sum on one particular player.

Spain looks likely to be his first port of call, with the Frenchman set to once again test Sevilla’s resolve to keep centre-half Federico Fazio.

The Gunners had a £5.5m bid for the 26-year-old rejected four years ago, but have been impressed by the Argentinian international’s development since.

Now entering his peak years, Fazio may be allowed to leave La Liga for a bargain £5m, in light of Los Palanganas’ financial struggles.

Elsewhere meanwhile, Basel’s Europa League progress has not gone unnoticed by Arsenal, and in particular the displays of their defender Aleksandar Dragovic in that competition.

22-year-old Dragovic has already drawn interest from Champions League semi-finalists Dortmund as well as Everton, with those clubs believing they had the £4m battle for the centre-back’s signature between them.

The Gunners have now joined the chase for the Austrian international though, after his performances in the Swiss champions’ two-legged success over Tottenham alerted Wenger.

And closer to home, Aston Villa full-back Matthew Lowton is another player believed to be coveted by the Emirates outfit.

A raw talent, Lowton’s enthusiasm has won him much acclaim this term, and the ex-Sheffield United defender could prove the subject of a £5m tug-of-war between Arsenal and Fulham this summer.

However, Villa’s avoidance of relegation to the Championship would alleviate any pressure to sell the 23-year-old, so his exit from the club may not materialise for some time yet.

In terms of their pursuit of a goalkeeper meanwhile, the Gunners are ready to commit a Bundesliga raid, with Hamburg stopper Rene Adler the focus of their attention.

Wenger has been put off by the £15m price tags attributed to Sunderland and Stoke keepers Simon Mignolet and Asmir Begovic respectively, and will instead opt for a cut-price deal for German international Adler.

Available for £5m, the imposing 28-year-old has drawn comparisons to former Arsenal star Jens Lehmann, arguably Wenger’s most consistent performer between the sticks within the past decade.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



John Klee