Arsenal manager Unai Emery has demanded that the Gunners fork out for a world class centre back this summer to solve their evident issues at the back, plunging their transfer window plans into disarray.
Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma is understood to be on the shortlist, alongside Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld, Leicester's Harry Maguire and Getafe's Djene Dakonam.
According to The Sun, the club are now willing to finance a move for one of these players with the sale of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shkodran Mustafi. The latter has been regularly singled out in the rearguard as the principal problem in the set-up, with several high-profile gaffes across this season.
However, it is understood that Emery's budget would stand at just £40m if his side fail to qualify for the Champions League, and even with the willingness to sell stars such as
Both players have two years to run on their deals, with the German's notoriously high wages making any significant fee hard to command. Indeed, the club have been attempting to find a buyer for Mustafi for the last two seasons, to no avail.
Add to this the lack of a replacement for former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, and Arsenal's summer plans appear in flux at best. They are already consigned to paying £7m to Ituano FC for 17-year-old Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli, while Paris Saint-Germain's Christopher Nkunku, valued at around £18m, has long been a target.
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Naturally, this heaps pressure on the club's forthcoming semi final first leg with Valencia on Thursday, with the payout for winning the Europa League set at around £30m when all is said and done.
Should they fail to find a buyer for that trio, then that money would likely go toward the defender that Emery so covets, but whether they have it rests solely on the team's performance now.