Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny and now...  

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Arsene Wenger is thought to have identified Udinese centre-back Cristian Zapata as his next recruit after admitting that he was on the lookout for further defensive cover.

Despite recruiting French-Polish defender Laurent Koscielny from Lorient last week, and having Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou on the books, the Gunners are still short on options at the back. Philippe Senderos quit the Emirates to join Fulham earlier in the month while Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas are out-of-contract and Sol Campbell is shopping around for a lucrative final contract with the likes of Sunderland and Celtic interested parties.

Speaking last week in the aftermath of his second summer signing Arsene Wenger told

"We identified Koscielny as a very, very strong centre half.

"He can be an outstanding addition to our team. But it is not over, we are still open to buy.

"We are still on the market for another defensive player because we have the need for one more."

The Daily Mail now claims that Columbian international Zapata, who has been linked with a move to England in the past, is now one of Arsenal’s top transfer targets despite retaining a value around £15 million. At 6 ft 2 inches tall and still only 23-years-old, the highly experienced Zebrette star is also being monitored by the likes of AC Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina.

It is not the first time the Gunners have been linked with one of Udinese's stars. Swiss midfield enforcer Gokhan Inler was contacted by Arsene Wenger in the aftermath of Euro 2008 and has been consistently tipped for an Arsenal adventure in the future.

West Ham United's Matthew Upson, Bolton's Gary Cahill and Fulham's Brede Hangeland are further names linked with the Gunners although their respective Premier League owners appear unwilling to do business aith Arsenal.


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