Depending on who you ask, interest in one of the 21st century’s most successful defenders represents either an inspired move from a side clearly lacking in quality and leadership at the back, or a desperate attempt to reinforce a well-publicised Achilles heel with a man past his best.
Boateng was arguably the best centre-back in world football five years ago, shining as Germany lifted the World Cup while helping turn Bayern Munich into a force both at home and abroad.
But injuries and age have taken their toll on the now-31-year-old. Boateng has lost his once fearsome pace, with mistakes creeping ever more frequently into his game.
Bayern’s chiefs made it clear over the summer that they would not stand in Boateng’s way should he wish to move elsewhere and, with just eight Bundesliga starts to his name this season, it seems nothing has changed.
Arsenal have made contact with a man who spent one season with Manchester City in 2010/11, with Sky Sports claiming that Bayern would be willing to accept a fee of around £12.8 million.
Boateng, a seven-time Bundesliga champion, has the experience and quality to make a transformative impact on Arsenal’s perennially shaky back line, but the fact remains that he is a shadow of the player he once was.
And with David Luiz flopping at the Emirates, the Gunners already have one high-earning centre-back well past his best. This could go one of two ways.
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