According to Sky Sports, Arsenal are interested in signing Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng this winter.
The 31-year-old has been with the Bavarian club for so long – since the summer of 2011 – that not many now even remember that he actually played 24 times for Manchester City during the previous 12 months, 16 of those in the Premier League. But during his time in Munich, he amassed over 300 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, helping them win seven consecutive league titles, four DFB-Pokal trophies and the 2013 international treble – Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. He also has 76 caps and the 2014 World Cup with Germany to his name. Primarily a centre-back, of course, he is also quite capable of playing on defensive flanks.
Having fallen down the pecking order at Bayern recently, Boateng wants to leave the Allianz Arena as soon as possible. The Bavarians would be prepared to let him go for €15 million (£12.8m), but they still haven’t made a final decision on the matter due the recovery of Lucas Hernandez from injury taking a bit more time than they initially thought it would. They haven’t ruled anything out and the feeling is that determined action from Arsenal could get a deal done.
The Gunners could certainly do with a defensive boost such as a potential acquisition of a player of such vast experience. Things have been looking more positive since the appointment of Mikel Arteta at the helm, but improving the playing personnel through one or two quality signings still makes sense. The need has no doubt been made more pronounced by the confirmation of Calum Chambers suffering an ACL injury which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
Despite some earlier reports claiming differently, it seems Arteta won’t have too much money to spend in January. They’ve been linked heavily with Dayot Upamecano, but RB Leipzig are apparently unwilling to part with their defender at the moment, being still very much in the Bundesliga title race and in the knockout stages of the Champions League. On the other hand, Arsenal do have William Saliba coming in from his loan and St Etienne in the summer.