According to the the British media Unai Emery is demanding that Arsenal sign at least one world class defender to strengthen our porous back line.
The four defenders reportedly on the radar are Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma and Getafe’s Djene Dakonam.
Apparently, Emery has seen how Liverpool have been transformed since the signing of Virgil van Dijk and wants to replicate that sort of purchase with us.
The big problem, however, is that Emery will only have a budget of £40 Million if we fail to reach the Champions League rising to £70 Million if we do qualify.
What remains a real option is the potential sale of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shkodran Mustafi with any funds being raised added to the transfer budget.
So, what are our chances of signing any of those defenders?
Kurt Zouma is currently on loan with Everton and will most likely return to Stamford Bridge in the summer. If the transfer ban on the Blues is lifted then a deal may be possible but if it remains in place it is hard to see how they will sanction any sales.
Toby Alderweireld is a possibility due to his release clause but would he really sign for us? Alderweireld would want a huge wage and genuine prospects of major silverware and would probably join a club more likely to deliver on both of those requirements.
Harry Maguire would cost a fortune, there is no way Leicester City will not demand a king’s ransom and I reckon he will be priced out of our reach.
Djene Dakonam is probably the most likely acquisition, he is experienced and has been pivotal to Getafe’s excellent season in La Liga.
The bottom line is that under the right circumstances we could sign any of the four named players but it will not be easy.