Arsenal now have big transfer fear over Mikel Arteta’s £52m top defensive target

Arsenal have now marked Sporting Lisbon talent Goncalo Inacio as their top centre-back target for the January transfer window as Mikel Arteta chases defensive depth.

The Gunners are keen to hand Arteta fresh reinforcements at the back next month. He feels Arsenal must strengthen their defence if the north Londoners are to win the Premier League title for the first time in 20 years. But a deal to prise Inacio from Sporting will be challenging.
That is according to Dean Jones, who claims that the ACL injury Jurrien Timber suffered and Takehiro Tomiyasu’s fitness concerns have tempted Arsenal to mark the defence as a priority for January. Arteta is also likely to lose Tomiyasu during January for the Asia Cup with Japan.
Arsenal mark Sporting Lisbon star Goncalo Inacio as their top defensive transfer target

So, Arsenal are prioritising signing a new defender in January and have Inacio’s transfer from Sporting as Arteta’s top target. But the Leoes are intent on only letting the 22-year-old leave if a club pays his £52m release clause. The cost of his clause is also worrying the Gunners.
The Emirates Stadium natives will box smart in the mid-season sales as they bid to stay clear of FFP problems. Arteta has some cash to spend but Arsenal will likely struggle to afford the £52m required to sign Inacio. Their alternative targets are also unlikely to switch in January.
Arsenal are also monitoring Borussia Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck and Matthijs De Ligt of Bayern Munich. Jones also adds that the Gunners retain an interest in Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi. But the trio are primed to stay at their respective teams until the end of this season.
Mikel Arteta has relied on William Saliba more than any defender so far this season

Losing Timber on the opening day of the Premier League season to an ACL injury in August cost Arteta a valuable part of his plans. The 22-year-old quickly emerged as a key player for the Gunners after joining this July. He featured regularly across their defence in pre-season.

Tomiyasu has also made his 12 Premier League appearances from a split of outings as a left and right-back. Only William Saliba has started in Arteta’s defence in all 19 of Arsenal’s top-flight fixtures. Ben White started three as a centre-half before Gabriel magalhaes returned.

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