Arsenal are said to have switched their defensive target for the January transfer window to Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, as reported by the Daily Express.
They had previously lined up a possible bid for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, but a supposed asking price of £31 million seems to have priced them out of the chase.
Hummels is considered to be one of the top defenders plying his trade in Europe today, but the player has been constantly linked with a switch to a series of clubs.
One of the main sides thought to be targeting Hummels were Manchester United, who were rumoured to be prepping a bid in the summer.
A move never materialised, however, and that opened up the possibility of a switch elsewhere.
However, Arsenal are now looking to back out of any possible move for Hummels, with Laporte a possible alternate target.
Arsenal are willing to spend up to £20 million in the coming transfer window.
Arsenal are determined to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, with Arsene Wenger apparently willing to sanction a €42 million move for the defender in January, as reported by fichajes.net
This would match his release clause, something written into the contract of every player in La Liga, and force Bilbao into accepting the offer.
Laporte, only 20 years old, has proven himself to be a highly talented defender in recent years, and the elegant young star has become the north London club’s priority for the January transfer window.
Arsenal have suffered a defensive crisis since the start of the season, with Mathieu Debuchy’s injury causing havoc at the back for Wenger.
Wenger has reportedly asked the club’s hierarchy to focus on pooling together the resources required to secure a switch for Laporte in the winter window.
Should Arsenal meet with Laporte’s agent and agree personal terms, the club will then match the release clause, terminating his contract with Bilbao and pushing through a move to the Emirates Stadium.