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Jul 30, 2010

Wenger: Arsenal need at least one more defender

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal need to sign at least one more centre back before the close of the summer transfer window.

• Puyol: Cesc wants to go
• Barca to respect Arsenal's wishes

Arsenal's defensive options have been severely depleted in a summer that has seen Philippe Senderos join Fulham and William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Sol Campbell leave the club on free transfers. The Gunners were hopeful of agreeing a new contract with Campbell, only to see the former England international join Newcastle this week.

Wenger has spent a reported £10 million on Frenchman Lauren Koscielny, while Johan Djourou has recovered from a long-term injury that restricted him to only one appearance last season, but his only other established centre back is Thomas Vermaelen.

Alex Song can deputise in the position but, speaking ahead of the weekend's Emirates Cup tournament, Wenger confirmed he is still active in the transfer market.

"I wouldn't like to give you any names," Wenger said in a press conference. "There are plenty of names that we consider and we analyse. We look at the financial possibilities and the technical potential. But it is impossible for me to come out with a name.

"We are still on the search because at the moment we only have three centre backs and we have seen last season you needed five. I believe we need at least four because we have some other players who can fill in this position but overall we are still on the search."

However, it appears as though Jan Vertonghen is unlikely to be one of the new arrivals at Emirates Stadium. Vermaelen's former colleague at Ajax says he will not be allowed to leave Amsterdam this summer.

"I read in the newspapers that they (Arsenal) were following me," Vertonghen said. "But Ajax will not sell me so I will stay for another year."

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