Arsenal

Wenger sets his sights on Belgian star

Arsene Wenger is set to step up his summer transfer plans with a move for Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen the Mirror reports less than 24-hours after confirming the capture of Cologne striker Lukas Podolski.

After announcing the completion of Podolski’s move to the Emirates Stadium the Arsenal chief has moved swiftly onto other targets in his effort to avoid a repeat of last seasons late panic buying.

With his search for attacking reinforcements now taken care of Wenger has turned his attentions to pressing matters elsewhere in his squad and has set his sights on landing Vertonghen.

The versatile Belgium international has risen through the ranks at Ajax but is entering the final year of his contract at the Amsterdam Arena and speculation has already mounted over his immediate future at the club.

Wenger is a keen admirer of the Vertonghen, who can operate in either central defence of midfield, and knows he could snap up the 25-year-old for a reduced fee of around £7-million if he doesn’t agree to a new deal.

The Gunners are aware they’ll have to move swiftly to capture his signature with Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham are also keeping tabs on his situation.

Meanwhile it was revealed that German international Podolski will depart the Cologne to join Arsenal for £10.9 million in the summer after putting pen-to-paper on a four-year deal in North London.

The 26-year-old revealed his delight at securing a move to the Premier League saying: ““Arsenal are one of the top clubs in Europe with a huge history. There are many top quality players at Arsenal and the style of football which the team plays is fantastic.”

Wenger added: “Podolski is an important part of our future.  He is a top-class player, a very good finisher and a proven performer at club and international level”

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