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Arsenal hoping to beat Juventus to sign star Swiss defender

| 26.09.2013

Although most Gunners fans will be screaming at Arsene Wenger to pursue a top class striker when the January transfer window opens, Basel’s free-scoring defender Fabian Schar may be the next best thing.

Despite splashing out the big bucks on record signing Mesut Ozil at the 11th hour of the summer transfer window, Arsenal are reportedly still ready to spend large again in January.

And spend big they may have to, if they are to beat Juventus to the signing of 21-year-old Basel centre-back Schar, whose performances for both club and county have also caught the attentions of the Italian champions.

The penalty-taking defender shot to prominence last season after breaking into the Basel first-team, helping the Swiss club to their fourth straight domestic title and the semi-finals of the Europa League, where he scored from the spot against Chelsea in the first leg.

Then most recently he played an integral role in keeping the likes of Samuel Eto’o quiet during Basel’s famous win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.

This is clearly a young defender with a dazzlingly bright future, having scored three times for his country across two recent World Cup qualifiers as well, so Basel will be after top dollar if they are to part with his services.

Of course, many people are now talking about early Premier League leaders Arsenal being genuine title contenders this season, though their price of 7/1 would suggest a few more additions are still necessary.

A striker probably remains priority, but then again, Wenger has already been forced to play Bacary Sagna at centre-back in the league this season, showing a dearth of back-up options.

With the continued doubts over the return to full fitness of club captain Thomas Vermaelen, it’s pretty obvious that another central defender is required as back-up to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.