Arsenal Set Sights On £19m Centre-Back as Arsene Wenger Develops Taste for Spending

Emirates Stadium boss hopes to land talented young defender.

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen his defence and having been strongly linked with interest in Swansea City’s Ashley Williams it appears that the Frenchman has opted instead to make a move for highly rated Schalke centre-back Kyriakos ­Papadopoulos according to the Sunday Mirror.

A move for the 21 year old Greek international won’t come cheap though, with the Bundesliga side demanding that any interested party trigger the player’s £19m release clause if they wish to snap up Papadopoulos, with Chelsea and Liverpool hot on the heels of the tough tackler.

However this source believes that Schalke may relent and accept a lesser fee of around £13m for the youngster, who has spent three years at the German side following a move to the Gelsenkirchen club back in June 2010.

Wenger may well be ready to listen to offers for Thomas Vermaelen, with the club captain having been frozen out of the first team set-up in the final months of 2012/13 and given that Sebastien Squillaci has left and Johan Djourou is likely to do likewise there is certainly scope for bringing in strong back-up to first choice pair Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Papadopoulos has 16 national team caps to his name.

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