Arsenal plot raid on £68m defender loved by Liverpool and Klopp
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal technical director Edu are in agreement over a raid for a Liverpool-linked centre-back who holds a £68m release clause.
The Gunners finished the season strongly, picking up the club’s 14th FA Cup trophy at Chelsea’s expense on Saturday.
But despite the cup success, their league campaign largely underwhelmed, frequently typified by struggles at the back.
Arsenal shipped 48 goals in the league – the second most of all teams to finish in the top half – and frequently hamstrung their efforts with error-strewn displays.
One particular area of weakness was at centre-back, with Arteta chopping and changing in the position since his arrival in December.
However, with the recent FA Cup win strengthening his position at the club, Arteta is expected to be given the freedom to overhaul his squad.
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Departures may be required first – with six potential exits speculated here – but once accomplished, Arteta could look to target a readymade centre-back starter.
One such player is Sevilla defender Diego Carlos.
The Metro (via The Daily Telegraph) report that Arsenal’s hierarchy have united over their interest in the Brazilian, with Arteta identifying Carlos as a ‘key part of his plans’ moving forward.
The 27-year-old holds a £68m release clause in his current deal, but the report notes that a fee less than that amount may be enough to convince Sevilla to sell.
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Carlos has previously been linked with Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp intimated he would be the ‘perfect partner’ for Virgil van Dijk.
Following Dejan Lovren’s exit to Zenit Saint Petersburg, The Reds are on the lookout for a new centre-back, but now appear set to face competition from Arsenal in their pursuit.