As the season drew to a close, Arsenal were linked with Bolton Wanderers defender Rob Holding.

The 20-year-old defender, who is capable of playing right-back or centre-back, was left out of Bolton’s final league game of the season amid interest from the Gunners.

However, local press in Bolton said just a few days ago that the club had rejected a £5m bid for the defender and Arsenal have been told to cough up around £7m if they want him.

“It has to be a deal that suits the football club and not anyone else,” said Bolton chief executive Dean Holdsworth.

“If it isn’t right we will not do it. He is going to play in the Premier League all day long. He will be a top player and I think he could go on to be an international.”

Holding has been called up to the England u21s for the Toulon Tournament this summer and has started to attract attention from other Premier League clubs.

With Mathieu Debuchy set to leave this summer and Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny both in their thirties, the Gunners are on the lookout for defensive prospects.

“He has got representatives who speak to us and keep a dialogue with us. His heart is here and I think it always will be. At some point, he will go on. I think he has to for his career because we rate him that highly.

“But right now we need to do the best for the football club and the fans.”

Bolton have had serious financial issues and are clearly hoping to use the Holding deal to get as much money as possible as they prepare for life in League One.

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