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Arsenal seek Southampton starlet to replace wantaway Frenchman

| 24.04.2014

New England cap Luke Shaw may not be the only Southampton full-back making the transfer headlines this summer, with Arsenal thought to be contemplating a swoop on St Mary’s for young defender Calum Chambers.

The Gunners’ tough season is far from complete, with Everton two points behind Arsene Wenger’s fourth-placed outfit and still in with a shout of raiding the last Champions League spot at 4/1 with three fixtures remaining in the campaign.

A 3/10 win against Newcastle at the Emirates would bring Arsenal ever closer to retaining their status among the continent’s elite at 1/6, and Wenger is already planning to rebalance his squad ahead of another tilt at the trophy that has eluded him for so long.

Top of the 64-year-old’s list of positions to fill will be centre-forward, with none of his senior strikers bar Olivier Giroud – who could be on his way out of the club – managing more than two strikes in all competitions this term, but right-back also looks likely to preoccupy the veteran Frenchman’s mind.

Sagna, who will be available for free this summer if Arsenal can’t persuade him to sign a new deal, is attracting plenty of interest from his native France as well as a few of the Gunners’ domestic rivals.

Wenger will be loathe to let another of the rough diamonds he’s spent years polishing leave for Manchester City, and Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco have also been mentioned as possible suitors for the 31-year-old, who has filled in manfully as a centre-half at times this term.

The expected loss of Sagna would leave Arsenal with Carl Jenkinson in the right-back spot, and Wenger’s seeming reluctance to play the former Charlton man this year has led to rumours that he will seek a new first choice this summer, with Chambers thought to be the preferred pick.

The 19-year-old has started a game more than teammate and right-back rival Nathaniel Clyne – who Saints signed for over £2m just 18 months ago – in the Premier League this term and is expected to push for a place in the England squad after the World Cup.

Southampton are 15/8 to win their next match at home to Everton, with Roberto Martinez’s side 7/5 to grab three desperately needed points and the draw is 12/5.

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

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Alex Fortune