Arsenal closing in on signing of World Cup centre back - report

According to speculation today, Arsenal are closing in on a deal to sign Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld

Arsenal splashed out £60m in the transfer market this summer, bringing in Nice goalkeeper David Ospina, Southampton defender Calum Chambers, Newcastle right back Mathieu Debuchy and Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez as manager Arsene Wenger looked to build on the club's first trophy in nine years having won the FA Cup final against Hull City in May.

The Gunners have subsequently had a decent start to the season with a win over Crystal Palace and a draw with Everton, but they needed last minute goals against both teams - leading to Arsenal fans once again appealing for Wenger to bring in more firepower up front, particularly after striker Olivier Giroud suffered a suspected broken ankle, which could rule him out for around three months.

Serbian beanpole striker Nikola Zigic has been linked with a shock move to the Emirates Stadium, but it seems that Wenger is placing more emphasis on adding a new defender. Thomas Vermaelen left the club for Barcelona earlier this month in a £15m deal, leaving Wenger with no depth behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the heart of his defence.

Whilst Chambers has filled in admirably, a move for a recognised centre back is certainly on the agenda having failed with a bid for Roma-bound Kostas Manolas, who impressed for Greece at the World Cup. Whilst they missed out on Manolas, the Gunners could yet land another player who impressed in Brazil this summer in Toby Alderweireld.

The Atletico Madrid defender, 25, moved to Spain last summer having impressed with Ajax in the Eredivisie, but found it hard to break into the team ahead of first choice pairing Diego Godin and Miranda - leading to his father pleading with Atletico to let his son go.

Now, according to reports today, Alderweireld is nearing a move to the Emirates Stadium as a replacement for his international team mate Vermaelen, with Liverpool's Daniel Agger linked with a move to Atletico as a replacement for the Belgian.

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