Arsenal could turn to Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk as a replacement for the retiring Per Mertesacker.

  • Arsenal are interested in the Dutch centre back
  • Mertesacker will retire at the end of the season to become the club’s new academy director
  • There are concerns over the fitness of Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal could soon be in the market for a centre back as Mertesacker will retire at the end of next season to become the club’s new academy director. There are also concerns about Koscielny, as the Frenchman turns 32 this year and has been having trouble with a recurring achilles problem.

And according to the Daily Star, these two things have led to speculation that Arsenal could go after Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, whom The Sun believe is valued at £70m. The Gunners have been linked with van Dijk before, but a move doesn’t appear to be forthcoming.

He was close to joining Liverpool this summer, but the move broke down when Liverpool were reported by Southampton for tapping up. Manchester City and Chelsea are also interested, but Southampton are very reluctant to sell, and would require a very large bid to consider doing so.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,