Transfer News: Arsenal Join Liverpool And Chelsea In Hunt For £19m Defender

By on June 24, 2013

Away from all the talk surrounding the possible arrival of striker Gonzalo Higuain, it seems Arsene Wenger is also keen to strengthen his defence this summer with reports suggesting we’ve joined the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea in showing an interest in Schalke centre-back Kyriakos ­Papadopoulos.

­Papadopoulos has emerged as one of the most highly-rated defenders in Europe after an excellent season in Germany last campaign and the Mirror claim that Arsenal have now targetted the 21-year-old after failing to strike a deal for Swansea City captain Ashley Williams.

The Welshman has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates in recent months but it appears the boss has reservations about paying around £10m for a player approaching his 29th birthday and ­Papadopoulos is therefore seen as better value for money.

The Greek international has a buy-out clause of £19m and Schalke have so far insisted that any interested parties must meet this figure, but the Mirror suggest a deal could be struck at nearer £13m this summer as the German outfit look to cash in.

We managed to get through last season with only three centre-backs (Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Koscielny) but ideally any top club should have at least four reliable options to choose from, so you’d think this is an area we’ll strengthen this summer.

I like Williams but he’s getting on a bit now so it would make more sense to go for a player like ­Papadopoulos, who still has plenty of time to develop his game further and will still have a sell-on value if we ever wanted to sell.

Liverpool have been strongly linked for some time whereas Chelsea’s interest is relatively fresh, but you can be sure there are other clubs interested in Europe as well so the competition will be fierce if we do end up making a move for the defender.

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