Contact made: Arsenal open talks to sign French star, deal could be done at £44m

By on June 2, 2018

According to L’Equipe via the Metro, Arsenal have made contact with Stuttgart to discuss signing Benjamin Pavard and the Germans are willing to sell if £44m is put on the table this summer.

New head coach Unai Emery is expected to revamp the squad he inherited from Arsene Wenger and a new centre-back is needed after we shipped 51 Premier League goals last season.

Per Mertesacker has retired, Laurent Koscielny is out for around six months with an Achilles injury while Shkodran Mustafi’s future is in doubt following a disappointing two years at the Emirates.

So we need to sign at least one central defender this summer and we’ve been linked with a whole host of names including Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Caglar Soyuncu, Abdou Diallo and Jonny Evans.

However, a new name has emerged as the Metro are citing a report from L’Equipe that claims Arsenal have held preliminary talks with Stuttgart over a deal to sign Pavard.

The 22-year-old has impressed since joining the Bundesliga outfit in 2016 and his performances have led to him being named in France’s squad for this summers World Cup finals.

The French publication says Stuttgart are prepared to do business if £44m is put on the table but Arsenal will face competition from Borussia Dortmund, Marseille and Napoli for his signature.

Dortmund are reportedly the front runners as they’ve already held talks with Pavard’s agent but his hefty valuation is preventing the German giants from pushing ahead with a transfer.

READ: Arsenal hoping to sign world class £88m star

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be prepared to match Stuttgart’s £44m asking price but I’d be surprised given Emery’s budget is supposedly set at somewhere between £50m-£70m.

We also need to sign a new goalkeeper, central midfielder, winger and right-back so I don’t think we’ll be prepared to use a huge chunk of our budget on a young centre-back. Therefore, Stuttgart will have to lower their valuation if we’re to sign Pavard this summer.