Arsenal Close In On Atletico Madrid Defender

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The Gunners are in the market for a defender after selling Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona.Arsenal are close to completing the signing of Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld, the Metro reports.

The Gunners want to sign some defensive reinforcements after selling Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona for £15 million and Alderweireld is right at the top of their list.

Southampton are also interested in signing the Belgian international however, but reports suggest that the 25-year-old has turned down the chance to move to St Mary’s, meaning Arsene Wenger is in pole position to sign the versatile defender.

Alderweireld signed for Atletico last summer but spent most of last season on the bench. Unhappy at a lack of first team opportunities at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, the Belgian is actively looking to move out of the Spanish capital.

The defender favours playing at centre back but can also play at right-back and in central midfield. His versatility will come in handy for Wenger as the Gunners look to challenge for the Premier League title whilst also going deep into the Champions League.

The Gunners qualified for the Champions League group stages last night after beating Besiktas 1-0 in a playoff. This success could lead to a spending spree from the FA Cup winners with Wenger looking to sign a striker and a defensive midfielder as well as Alderweireld.

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