UNAI EMERY has confirmed Arsenal are still in the market for new players after they lost 2-1 to Lyon in the Emirates Cup.
The Gunners squad has come under much scrutiny this summer after they finished below bitter rivals Tottenham for the third season running.
While the North Londoners’ attacking duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are the envy of many teams in the league, there are few queuing up to take any defenders off their hands.
And Emery is clearly aware of the need for defensive reinforcement which he alluded to in his post-match press conference.
‘I WANT A BETTER TEAM THAN LAST SEASON’
The Spaniard said: “At the beginning of the market we were thinking to do one centre-back, one full-back and one winger.
“We are still thinking the same way.
“Really I want a better team than last season with only new players who can improve the squad and help us to achieve our ambitions.”
The winger in question looks likely to be Nicolas Pepe while the full-back target is Celtic’s Kieran Tierney.
But with Laurent Koscielny virtually on strike and Shkodran Mustafi getting booed onto the pitch by his own fans against Lyon, the Gunners need to do something quick at centre-half.
While they have signed William Saliba from Saint Etienne, the 18-year-old centre-half will head straight back on loan for a year.
So here are the five centre-backs Arsenal could sign before the transfer window slams shut on August 8.
Emery recently added the 24-year-old Italian to his list of targets.
And Juventus could see their way to letting him go after they signed Ajax whizkid Matthijs de Ligt for £67.5million.
The ex-Chelsea and England defender is a free-agent after leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract last month.
And while the 33-year-old could be a cheap option for Arsenal, they face competition from Galatasaray who hope Didier Drogba can convince his old team-mate to join the Turkish giants.
The 22-year-old Portuguese giant was an integral part of Benfica’s title winning side last season.
But he would be a bank-breaker for the gunners after the Portuguese champions told Manchester United they’d have to pay £52m for the star earlier this month.
At 20-years-old, Konate is touted as one of the hottest prospects in European football.
The Gunners have been interested in the RB Leipzig man for some time having scouted him in February.
But the Frenchman would cost upwards of £40m which could put the Emirates hierarchy off.
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Pape Abou Cisse
Cisse could prove a more affordable option for the North Londoners and they were reportedly ready to bid just £10m for the Senegalese earlier this month.
The 22-year-old starred for Olympiacos last season but Wolves are reportedly leading the race for the youngster’s signature.