Arsenal and City to battle for Radu

Arsenal and Manchester City are set to go head-to-head in the battle to sign Lazio defender Stefan Radu Sky Sports understands. 

The Romanian international has emerged as one of the best defenders in Serie A after an impressive campaign at the Stadio Olimpico helping the Biancazzurri qualify for the Europa League but could now be in line for a move to England.

Newly crowned Premier League champions City are after a new central defender to partner captain Vincent Kompany next season and boss Roberto Mancini has earmarked Radu – dubbed the new Christian Chivu earlier in his career – as a primary target.

He’s also moved to the top of Arsenal’s radar with Arsene Wenger keen to boost his defensive options during the summer and he wants the versatile 25-year-old, who can also operate at left-back, to challenge Laurent Koscielny for a place alongside Thomas Vermaelen.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for Ajax skipper Jan Vertonghen in recent months but with the Belgian keen to sign for North London rivals Tottenham they’ve turned their attentions to Radu.

Both Wenger and Mancini lacked defensive options last season that could have hindered their respective objectives and its no surprise see them prioritising the recruitment of a defender with a high European pedigree.

City are rumoured to be the frontrunners for Radu and are confident of beating Arsenal to his signature thanks to their billionaire owners.

Despite tying the player down to a new-long term deal 12-months ago it’s likely Lazio will find it hard to rebuff a big-money offer from either side as they desperately try to gather funds ahead of next season.

The ex-Dinamo Bucharest man has been with the Italian club since 2008 but is reportedly keen to play in England and will jump at the chance should it come along in the summer.