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Unai Emery has demanded Arsenal sign a world-class centre-back – and the club are reportedly ready to sell three players to fund the summer move.
The Gunners have conceded 49 Premier League goals this season – more than Wolves, Leicester City, Everton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.
Emery had hoped to bolster his defensive options in January but was left disappointed as only midfielder Denis Suarez arrived at the Emirates from Barcelona.
The former PSG boss has shown faith in his back-line this season, often leaping to the defence of £35million Germany international Shkodran Mustafi.
But three successive league defeats has left Arsenal’s top-four hopes in tatters and also convinced Emery he needs to sign a top-class centre-back at the end of the season.
According to The Sun, Emery has contacted the Arsenal board to demand a quality defender arrives through the doors in the summer.
And it is claimed the Gunners are willing to sell stars including Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mustafi to finance the move.
Emery knows he needs to strengthen his squad this summer but will only have a budget of around £40m if Arsenal miss out on Champions League qualification.
On Sunday, Virgil van Dijk was named the PFA Player of the Year and Emery, it is claimed, has taken note of Liverpool’s transformation following his arrival and believes Arsenal need to follow suit.
The Sun say Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld and Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma – currently on loan at Everton – have both been looked at by the Gunners, along with England man Harry Maguire.
Arsenal will struggle to get Ozil and Mkhitaryan – two of the club’s highest earners – off their books while Mustafi is yet to attract much interest from other clubs.