Arsenal Close To Agreeing £35m For Per Mertesacker’s Replacement

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Benfica have reportedly slapped a £35m price tag on defender Ruben Dias amid interest from Arsenal.

The Gunners are expected to recruit a centre-back this summer to replace the retiring Per Mertesacker, and the 20-year-old is said to be among manager Arsene Wenger’s top targets.

According to Record (via Sport Witness), the Portuguese outfit are unwilling to let Dias leave for less than £35m, but could hold out for an offer which triggers his £52.5m release clause should a bidding war begin.

Arsenal are said to have sent scouts to the Estadio da Luz to watch the Portugal Under-21 international, who began his career with Benfica’s B-team in 2015, in action.

The Gunners could be forced to recruit more than one central defender this summer, with Laurent Koscielny turning 33 this year and continuing to struggle with persistent injuries.

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