Arsene Wenger is keen to bring Real Madrid’s defensive utility man Alvaro Arbeloa to Arsenal this summer, according to reports from AS.

The former Liverpool man is seen as a good replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, who is thought to be on the verge of joining Manchester United in an £11m deal.

Although the Gunners skipper is no longer needed, Wenger is desperate to ensure that he has cover in place before letting him leave.

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While not a direct replacement, Arbeloa is a target for the Frenchman.

The former Anfield cult hero is most comfortable at right-back, but his versatile nature means that he can cover of the left side of the backline and at the very heart of the defence.

This appeals to the north London chief, who has Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker bedded in as his first choice central duo.

The 31-year-old has won the La Liga title and the Champions League with Real, and could well be tempted by a return to England after a fine spell at Liverpool

With his years advancing, Los Blancos may be tempted to sell before the new season kicks off.

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