​Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is contemplating a bid for Swansea defender Ashley Williams, according to ​the Express, with a need for a new centre-back magnified following the long-term injury to Per Mertesacker.

They report that the 31-year-old - who has two years remaining on his contract at the Welsh club -  is valued at around £10m by Swansea on the back of some marvellous performances at Euro 2016 for his country, in which they reached the semi-finals.

Williams is captain for both club and country and his reputation has grown considerably in recent years, having joined the club from Stockport County in 2008, and he is now considered one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League.


Mertesacker's injury highlights the fragility in the spine of Arsenal's squad, with Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny the remaining senior choices at centre back - something that has lead to midfielder Francis Coquelin being tested in the position during pre-season training.

Calum Chambers has struggled to break into the first-team since his arrival from Southampton in 2014, and has been linked with a loan move away from the Emirates.

The Gunners could face competition for the signing of Williams, with Everton believed to be interested, under the management of Ronald Koeman. Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi - formerly of Everton - has been reported as being an alternative for Wenger if signing the Welsh international proves troublesome.

Germany v France - Semi Final: UEFA Euro 2016

As well as Mertesacker, forward Danny Welbeck is out for a number of months with another knee injury, so the club are seeking a senior striker to battle with Olivier Giroud for a starting position.

Mauro Icardi, Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette have all been reported as possible targets as the opening Premier League fixtures edge closer. Arsenal host Liverpool on 14th August.

Which Newly Promoted Team Will Finish Higher in the Premier League This Season?




Doesn't matter, they'll all end up in the bottom 3 at the end of the season!