After Thomas Vermaelen’s transfer to Barcelona for a reported £15 million fee at the weekend, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the north London club could yet sign another centre-back, as reported by Goal.com.
He admitted yesterday that he is not yet finished in the transfer market for the summer, and is particularly keen on another centre-back.
Vermaelen turned down a move to Manchester United in order to move to the Camp Nou, but his departure has left Arsenal with limited choices in defence.
Arsenal stormed to a huge 3-0 victory against Manchester City in the Community Shield game yesterday, with Wenger’s side winning the first silverware of the season.
There was bad news for The Gunners, however, because Laurent Koscielny picked up a slight knock in the game. The first choice defender is an important part of their defence, and with Per Mertersacker having just started pre-season training, Wenger is tempted to add a further recruit in the heart of Arsenal’s rearguard.
Wenger told the press: “Vermaelen behaved outstandingly last year – I am grateful for him and I wish him very well.
“If I can find another centre-back I will do it. You make your position with your performances.”
Former Italy Under 21 star Giuseppe Bellusci is set to have a medical with Leeds United tomorrow or on Wednesday, according to Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio’s official Twitter.
Bellusci has been consistently linked with a move to Elland Road over the course of the summer transfer window, but the collapse of Frederik Sorensen’s move to Leeds last week seems to have reignited United’s interest in the Catania defender’s signature.
Di Marzio is reporting that the move will be on an initial loan, with Leeds possessing a right to purchase him next summer if the loan move works out.
Leeds undoubtedly need further additions this summer. They fell to a 2-0 loss against relegation favourites Millwall on Saturday, with Millwall dominating David Hockaday’s side in the first half. Leeds were lucky, reportedly, to only lose by two goals.
The departure of Tom Lees to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday has opened up a considerable gap in defence, one that now seems likely to be plugged by the addition of Bellusci.
Leeds United’s wonderkid right back Sam Byram is reportedly not interested in a move to Southampton, but is hoping that Sunderland firm up their interest and make a proper bid, on the basis that he would be keen on a move to the Premier League side.
This has been reported by James Marshment, who works for Sky Sports.
Byram played for Leeds today as they lost to Millwall. Their opening game of the season saw them fall to a 2-0 loss, with the Elland Road side playing incredibly poorly in the first half. The 2-0 result did not, apparently, reflect the dominance with which the London side played.
The 20 year old emerged onto the scene at Elland Road under former manager Neil Warnock, who drafted the then 18-year-old in on a whim. He won the Young Player of the Year award that season. A series of injuries hindered him in his sophomore season, but he has regained his fitness and seemed set to be a key part of any Leeds side this season.