Arsenal are stepping up their pursuit of Gremio and Argentina defender Walter Kannemann as Unai Emery looks to upgrade his centre-back options this summer.
The Gunners are hoping to offload Shkodran Mustafi to AC Milan but will only have a budget of around £40million for new signings if they fail to win the Europa League and gain a place in next season’s Champions League.
That means they will have to get creative in the transfer market, and that has led them to look at Kannemann, who has impressed in recent seasons and earned a spot in the national team.
Now FOX Sports Argentina report that Arsenal are ‘intensifying’ their interest in the 28-year-old and are willing to offer around £11.5m to land him.
Kannemann has a release clause in his contract of £17m, which Gremio will hold out for, but the Gunners will try to get him for slightly under that valuation as they try and stretch their transfer budget this summer.
The defender has won the Copa Libertadores with both San Lorenzo and Gremio though did not make his international debut until September last year.
Kannemann has collected five caps in total and was part of the 40-man squad selected for this summer’s Copa America before it gets whittled down.
In addition to a new centre-back, Emery is known to want a new box-to-box midfielder to replace Aaron Ramsey – who will join Juventus on a free transfer – as well as a winger and full-back.
Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Danny Welbeck will all leave the club when their contracts expire, while Arsenal are open to offers for Mustafi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mohamed Elneny and Mesut Ozil.