It looks as though Wenger will not bring his cheque book out for one last dabble for a defender before Big Ben’s late chime today and that could give free passage for Manchester United to seal a deal for Austrian defender, Aleksandar Dragovic.
The Daily Star reports that while their main target is Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, the German’s situation with his club at the bottom of the BundesLiga won’t see him available for anyone, even Arsenal, until the summer, but United have a defensive void to fill and will seek to push through an £11m deal for the 23-year old Dragovic.
Arsenal is believed to be the player’s preferred destination but Wenger has opted for Villareal’s Gabriel and that will leave the youngster with no option than to follow a move to Old Trafford, if it came. United, though, will not have it all their way and will have to convince him not to go to Roma as the Giallorossi are also interested.
The defensive deficiency in numbers that has been glaring all through the summer at the Emirates has been alleviated to an extent with Gabriel’s arrival. Arsenal had to lodge an appeal for him to be granted a work permit. But that would not have been required with the 23-year old Austrian who, besides being a European, has been part of the Austrian National Team since 2009. He has been impressive in Ukraine since moving from Basel in 2013 where he won three Swiss League titles, being linked ever since with a bid move.
Van Gaal’s team looks in need of a defender as various factors ranging from injuries to Chris Smalling have seen them unable to depend on the strength of their forward players. The Austrian is a big looking lad and those who have seen him play have given good assessments which may encourage the Old Trafford bosses to push forward where Arsenal left off.
Of course, Arsenal fans would wonder if the club had indeed made the right choice in not going for Dragovic instead but Wenger seems assured his latest buy will go on to succeed in the Premier League.
Gabriel is of the same age at which an unknown Laurent Koscielny from the French Second Division arrived Arsenal and though it was a tough start for him, there are fewer defenders as good as the French International now.
His Arsenal career has begun on the bench against Aston Villa but it won’t be too long before he shows everyone why he is the better choice, than Dragovic. Gabriel’s record at Villareal makes an auspicious statement of his chances of settling into the Arsenal team, and given the La Liga is a bigger League than the Ukrainian League, it is not out of place to think the Brazilian could yet prove the better deal.
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