With the season drawing to a close and the summer transfer window fast approaching, rumours are already beginning to circulate about who clubs will be looking to sign in order to strengthen their squads. As is often the case, the Arsenal board have promised that manager Arsene Wenger will have significant funds to invest in new players. There are a few areas that Wenger will undoubtedly feel need addressing. The lack of striking options has been a clear issue this season, with Olivier Giroud being forced to play over 45 games. To put that into context, Liverpools Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have only played 35 and 31 matches respectively. However, another area of concern for the Gunners is the centre back position. This season has seen Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny establishing themselves as the first choice pairing, with captain Thomas Vermaelen forced to wait patiently on the bench. Bacary Sagna has also filled in at the heart of the defence when called upon, with the full back claiming he is ready to make the transition to that position. Both Vermaelen and Sagna look as though they will be leaving the club this summer. The French internationals contract is set to expire in June, with PSG and Manchester City both prepared to offer him a pay rise. As for Vermaelen, the Belgian has seen his appearances limited this season and it is expected that he will leave the club in search of more regular football. It all means that Wenger could be in the market for not one, but two centre backs this summer.
Simon is an NCTJ qualified sports journalist. He has conducted interviews with Tony Adams and Peter Shilton, while also having work published in The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. Follow him on Twitter via @sr_collings.