The least surprising news in soccer was finally revealed yesterday, with the announcement that Lukas Podolski would be joining Arsenal this summer. And it appears that boss Arsene Wenger is far from resting on his laurels as he looks to do his transfer business early ahead of next season.
The Daily Mirror is reporting that Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen could arrive at the Emirates in a cut-price £7 million deal. The 25-year-old only has a year remaining on his contract with the Dutch side.
Vertonghen has emerged as one of Ajax's prized assets in recent seasons and is the club captain. The center-back would be expected to form a partnership with Thomas Vermaelen at Arsenal, with whom he has played alongside for Belgium and earlier in his career at Ajax.
While an accomplished defender, Vertonghen has also gained a reputation for his prowess at the other end of the pitch. This season he has contributed seven goals in 29 appearances in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Ajax all-but wrapped up the league title with a 2-1 victory over FC Twente on Saturday that leaves them six-points clear of their nearest challengers Feyenoord with just two games remaining. But with a vastly superior goal difference, the title is sure to be staying at the Amsteram Arena for another season. It will be the renowned club's 31st title.
If the deal goes through, Vertonghen will face competition for a starting role at the Emirates. Long-seen as Arsenal's weakness, the center-back position has become more of a strong point in recent times.
Laurent Koscielny has settled into life in the Premier League and the French international has looked accomplished alongside Vermaelen. Vertonghen's arrival may well signal the end of Per Mertesacker's time in North London. The German endured a torrid first season at the club before suffering a long-term ankle injury in February.