Arsenal have been in touch with Fenerbahçe over a potential move for £13 million-rated Simon Kjær as Arsène Wenger continues his hunt for a new centre-back this summer, according to ESPN.
The Gunners boss is desperate to bring in another central defender before the end of the summer transfer window having lost both Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista for the long-term through injury.
Mertesacker is out for up to five months, whilst an ankle injury picked up in stoppage time of Arsenal’s final pre-season friendly has ruled Gabriel out for up to eight weeks.
It has been widely-reported that Shkodran Mustafi is Arsenal’s prime target in the remaining fortnight of the transfer window, but the Premier League giants are yet to agree a deal with Valencia. The La Liga side are demanding more than £25 million whilst Wenger is looking around for cheaper alternatives.
BBC journalist David Ornstein reported earlier this week that Arsène Wenger had identified Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Ömer Toprak and Fenerbahçe’s Simon Kjær as potential targets, while the Gunners are also reportedly interested in Southampton’s José Fonte, valued around £10 million.
It would now appear that Wenger has now stepped up his interest in Kjær as ESPN are reporting that Arsenal have opened talks with the Turkish Süper Lig giants over a potential deal for the 27-year-old.
The report states that Arsenal have not made a formal offer to Fenerbahçe yet and that the Turkish side are keen to keep the defender but that they would demand upward of €15 million (£13m) should they sell the Danish international this summer.
Simon Kjær does still have three years left on his contract at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium so Fenerbahçe are under no pressure to sell. It is also understood that they have already rejected offers this summer, with the likes of Chelsea and Napoli previously linked.
The defender only signed from Lille last summer and was impressive during his 45 appearances in all competitions last season.
We shall have to wait and see how things develop over the coming days but Arsenal are running out of time if they want a new centre-back available for Saturday’s trip to Premier League champions Leicester City.