Arsenal keen on £13m-rated Zenit St Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay
Published 27/06/2015 | 12:14
Arsenal are interested in signing highly-rated Zenit St Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay, according to reports.
The 28-year-old has only been at the Russian club one season - a campaign which saw him win the league title - but could be an option for Arsene Wenger as he seeks to bolster his back-line.
Wenger is searching for possible alternatives to Per Mertesacker at the heart of his defence and Garay, who would cost around £13million, certainly boasts the experience and calibre that would be tempting.
The former Real Madrid defender - who joined Zenit for just £4million from Benfica last summer - is reported to be seeking a move to a more high-profile league in order to boost his chances of cementing his place in the Argentina team.
He is currently on duty with the national squad at the Copa America in Chile, and scored in the side's penalty shoot-out win over Colombia on Friday night.
Garay has often been linked with a move to the Premier League. He was first mentioned as being a possible Arsenal target as long ago as 2008, and more recently has been apparently monitored by Tottenham and Manchester United.
Arsenal have been linked with a string of centre-halves in recent months. Manchester United centre-half Chris Smalling was one possible target, but the England international opted to sign a new contract at Old Trafford, while Mats Hummels has also been mentioned.
The need for Wenger to recruit a new defender would be made even more pressing if Real Madrid push ahead with a mooted deal to sign French international Laurent Koscielny this summer, although Arsenal would be expected to resist any atttempts to buy him.
Elsewhere, Arsenal are interested in signing Chelsea teenager Charly Musonda, according to The Mirror.
The Belgian joined the Stamford Bridge club in 2012 but has not broken into first team contention and is said to be concerned at his lack of opportunities.
That could open the door for Wenger to make an approach for him, with Chelsea said to value the 18-year-old at around £6million.
Galatasaray have confirmed their interest in Arsenal's unsettled forward Lukas Podolski.
The German international is widely expected to leave the Emirates this summer, having spent most of last season on loan at Inter Milan, and Turkey now seems his most likely destination.
Galatasaray sporting director Cuneyt Tanman said: "We are interested in Podolski. We will do our best to get players that can excite.".