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Arsenal boss Wenger in scramble to sign a defender

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Evans continues to be linked with Arsenal
Evans continues to be linked with Arsenal

Arsenal are in a race to sign a centre-back before this Sunday’s Premier League opener with Liverpool, with both Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi and West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans continuing to be linked with the Gunners.

Injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel have put Arsenal in a perilous position a few days before the start of the new season, with manager Arsene Wenger embarking on his now traditional period of consideration before he makes his next move.

Reports suggest that enquires have been lodged for both Mustafi and Evans, yet official offers have not been lodged for either player as Wenger weighs up whether he finalise a deal in the next few days.

A bid to sign German defender Mustafi would appear to be the more attractive option for Wenger, although the 24-year-old is likely to cost more in what may need to be a quick-fire transfer.

That may encourage Wenger to make a move for ex-Manchester United centre-back Evans, who impressed for Northern Ireland in the Euro 2016 finals this summer.

Laurent Koscielny is expected to miss Sunday’s game against Liverpool as he has only just returned to training following an extended summer break following his involvement in France’s run to the Euro 2016 final last month.

Summer signing Rob Holding and youngster Calum Chambers may line up at the heart of the Arsenal defence on Sunday unless Wenger completes a deal for another defender in time for him to play against Liverpool.