Arsenal’s quest to shore up their defence has been handed a boost with the Gunners a step closer to signing Jerome Boateng, according to reports.
Arsenal have conceded 30 goals in 31 games this season, as well as 113 shots on target. To put that latter number in context, only Newcastle United (122) and Norwich City (119) have faced more.
The Gunners signed David Luiz, Kieran Tierney and William Saliba in the summer but had also been chasing RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano. However, they were unsuccessful in their attempts as Leipzig value the Frenchman at £70m.
They will be unlikely to sell in January to raise funds as they plan for their first taste of the Champions League knockout stage.
Arsenal to sign Jerome Boateng? Five things to know…
- Arsenal appear to be in the market for a centre-back after Calum Chambers was ruled out until next season with an ACL injury.
- The Gunners were linked with signing Dalot Upamecano in the summer but RB Leipzig are reportedly refusing to budge from their £70m asking price.
- Arsenal are being linked with a move for Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng instead, who appears to be available in January.
- According to reports, Bayern would be willing to sell Boateng for free if the buying club commit to paying his wages in full.
- A move to Arsenal would see Boateng return to the Premier League after an unsuccessful year at Manchester City in 2010/11.
- Arsenal are 11/1* to finish in the Premier League’s top four spots this season.
Odds by William Hill. 18+ only. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org.
Across the first half of the season Arsenal have used Luiz, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers at centre-back in the Premier League. But they been dealt a blow with Chambers now ruled out until next season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.
And Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted the club could change their plans in the January transfer window as a result.
“That we will try to be in the market to see options that can strengthen the team, that’s for sure and our obligation and we will be working on that,” Arteta told reporters when asked what fans can expect from Arsenal this month.
“My obligation is to give my opinion on the things we can improve. Obviously we have a bad injury with Calum a few days ago that will change our plans at the back.
“The reality is we will not be able to do much. I’m more concerned about getting players back from injury and try to improve the players I have here, get everybody on board and understanding what we’re trying to do.
“And if something extra comes up and we think it is the right opportunity to improve what we have, then let’s do it.”
And, according to Sky Germany, Boateng is one of the names on Arsenal’s target list.
The 31-year-old has made just nine Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich this season, as he has struggled to impress under Niko Kovac and Hansi Flick, including an incident that saw him sent off just 10 minutes into their 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
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Flick has preferred to use David Alaba as one of his two centre-backs with Javi Martinez and Benjamin Pavard often partnering the Austrian, leading to Boateng’s frustration on the sidelines.
Boateng currently has 18 months left on his contract with Bayern Munich and is reportedly valued at around £12.75m. However, according to Bild, Bayern would be willing to let the centre-back leave on a free transfer if the buying club pay his salary, believed to be around £196,000 per week, in full.
Should Boateng sign for Arsenal, it would give the centre-back the chance to right the wrongs of an unsuccessful spell with Manchester City where poor form and injury got the better of him.
The German spent just a year at the Etihad signing from Hamburg in 2010, playing 16 games in the Premier League before leaving for Bayern Munich the following summer.