Arsenal make approach for £10m Premier League stalwart as they race to beat Manchester United to signing

Arsenal are reportedly keen on signing Jose Fonte and have made an approach for the Southampton defender who is also attracting interest from Manchester United.

The Gunners have a real problem on their hands due to injuries, with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel facing a significant spell on the sidelines.

Laurent Koscielny missed the opening day defeat to Liverpool due to his exertions at Euro 2016 earlier this summer, which in turn resulted in Arsene Wenger’s men conceding four goals and falling to defeat.

While the Frenchman is expected to return to action this weekend, the Arsenal boss is coming under increasing pressure to act in the transfer market and address serious weaknesses in the squad.

According to ESPN FC, he may be pushing to do exactly that with claims that Arsenal have approached Southampton about Fonte, with the Saints captain commanding a fee of around £10m.

It’s added that Jose Mourinho is keen on taking the Euro 2016 winner to Old Trafford, but their bid to sign the 32-year-old stalwart is being delayed as the club need to sell or loan out their current options first.

As Mourinho looks to continue to trim the squad that he inherited from Louis van Gaal, Wenger will hope to have a window of opportunity to steal a march on his rivals and bring Fonte to the Emirates to shore up his backline.

Having proven himself over several years in England and with his national side in France earlier this summer, Fonte has the leadership and defensive abilities that Arsenal are craving, albeit as a cheaper option to their other targets and potentially with just a couple more years at the top.

However, Wenger can’t continue to face such fierce criticism over his transfer activity, and a move for a seasoned individual who will make an immediate and significant impact will go some way to quietening the noise.

Southampton will be eager to keep hold of their influential defensive ace, but ultimately with United and now Arsenal pushing for his signature, they could be facing a losing battle.

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