Arsenal fans will not have been the only ones dismayed to hear of Laurent Koscielny’s training ground injury this week, with the Gunners now even more likely to step up their interest in Swansea City captain Ashley Williams.
Although suitors have so far been put off a bid for Williams by Swansea’s £12million valuation of the 28-year-old, the Welsh club know that both Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly monitoring the player’s situation. If Koscielny’s injury is serious, Arsenal will be left with Per Mertesacker their only fit senior centre-back, which could well motivate them to meet Swansea’s asking price for Williams.
Michael Laudrup has perhaps recognised he faces a battle to keep his captain, and Swansea have made enquiries about Espanyol defender Hector Moreno.
Swansea are apparently ready to offer around £7million for the Mexico international, who has a reputation as a ball-playing defender that would suit the Carling Cup winners. Espanyol’s financial problems could make the deal easier for Swansea, who are hoping to complete a deal quickly.
The Welsh side have set a deadline of the opening weekend of the Premier League on the 17th August for any moves for Williams, which would allow adequate time to find a replacement for their captain.
Michael Laudrup has had great success in raiding La Liga in his time at Swansea, with Michu standing out as one of the best Premier League signings of last season.
This summer the Dane has already signed three players from Spain, Jordi Amat, who also played for Espanyol, and Jose Alberto Canas and Alejandro Pozuelo from Real Betis.
Although Liverpool are also reportedly interested in Williams, Arsenal are the likelier side to move for the Wales international after Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out for three months with a back injury.
Having allowed Sebastien Squillaci and Johan Djourou to leave this summer, if Koscielny’s injury is serious, Arsene Wenger will be left with Per Mertesacker as his only fit senior centre-back.
However Arsenal might still baulk at Williams’ price-tag, and with the 28-year-old unlikely to try and force through a transfer, Swansea might still hold hope they can keep their captain.
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