ARSENAL could turn their attention towards Reims centre-back Axel Disasi as their hunt for a new defender continues, according to reports.
The Gunners had been believed to be prioritising a move for RB Leipzig stopper Dayot Upamecano as they seek to shore up their leaky defence.
But set to miss out on Champions League football once again as the table stands, they could struggle to stump up whatever fee the Bundesliga side will demand – even if they lower their asking price from his £54million release clause.
This has lead Mikel Arteta and Co to explore other options.
And according to Goal, Reims defender Axel Disasi is on their radar – having emerged as a key player in Ligue 1 this season.
Having helped his side to promotion as a teen two seasons ago, it has been this year that he really broken through, starting all games bar one as his side finished a very creditable sixth in the curtailed French top-flight.
The imposing 6ft 3in defender would add a greater presence to Arteta’s back line, and at 22 is the perfect age for the Spaniard to coach him into an even better all-round player.
Disasi would only set the Gunners back around £13m-14m – and has just one year remaining on his current contract.
And should he arrive at the Emirates, he would potentially be able to forge a partnership with fellow French youth international William Saliba.
The Gunners will have to make do without either man, however, as they kick-off the Premier League’s return with a trip to Manchester City on Wednesday night.
Arteta will have David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi to choose from – as well as loanee Pablo Mari – who could come in to face his former club.
Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are the Gunners’ other two defensive options – although the North Londoners are set for a clear out this summer.