Mikel Arteta targets Sevilla’s Diego Carlos to bolster Arsenal defence


Carlos - Getty Images Europe
Carlos – Getty Images Europe

Arsenal are interested in signing the Sevilla defender Diego Carlos. The 27-year-old Brazilian centre-half is being tracked by a number of clubs around Europe, including several in the Premier League, and has been targeted by Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and technical director, Edu as part of a proposed overhaul of the squad.

The pair are acutely aware that the heart of the defence is an area of weakness at Arsenal despite the club having seven centre backs on their books.

Of those, though, Sokratis and Calum Chambers are available for transfer while Pablo Mari and Shokdran Mustafi will miss the start of next season through long-term injuries.

William Saliba has returned from loan from St Etienne but although the Frenchman is extremely well-liked and will certainly be given his chance in the first-team he is still just 19 and it remains to be seen how he adapts to the Premier League.

It leaves Arsenal with 33-year-old David Luiz, who has signed a 12-month contract extension, and Rob Holding – whose future is also in doubt – as first-team central defenders, although Kieran Tierney has also played there as part of a three-man defence, at times, including Saturday’s FA Cup Final.

Pool PA - Pool PA
Pool PA – Pool PA

Carlos has been outstanding this season for Sevilla and has been tracked by a number of clubs including Arsenal even if the club will not be able to afford the release clause of €75million (£68million) in his contract, which runs until June 2024.

At the same time it is understood that Sevilla will accept less for Carlos but not a substantial reduction on that fee with a price of 60million euros (£54.5million) having been mooted. Again that may be too much for Arsenal despite their interest.

The finances at the club are tight even if Arteta is lobbying for an overhaul of the squad this summer with the backing of Edu. The pair have drawn up a detailed plan of targets although they accept they may not all be attainable during this window.

The head coach is desperate, of course, to move on the highest-earner Mesut Ozil while there are players Arsenal could trade and top of that list is midfielder Matteo Guendouzi who has fallen out of favour under Arteta and is for sale.

The club are also hoping to strengthen in midfield and have identified 21-year-old Guendouzi as a possible makeweight in deals having shown interest in Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.

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