Arsenal join race for £35m-rated French star

Arsenal have joined the hunt for £35million-rated Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, according to the Metro.

Arsene Wenger is keen to strengthen his defensive options at the end of the season, after watching his side get torn apart by Liverpool at the weekend.

Club captain Thomas Vermaelen has failed to hold down a first team place this season, and is expected to depart at the end of the season.

And sources in Portugal claim the Gunners are ready to make a big money offer for Porto’s French centre back Mangala, who has also been attracting attention from Manchester City and Manchester United.

City were understood to have made a deadline day offer for the 22-year-old, only for Porto to claim he is not interested in a move to the Etihad.

It is thought the French international would be far more open to a switch to north London, and the opportunity to link up with fellow countryman Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners are thought to be preparing an offer of £35million for the powerful centre back, although they may yet face a fight for his signature.

Big spending French clubs Paris St Germain and Monaco are also thought to be interested in offering Mangala the opportunity to return to his homeland.

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