The Daily Mirror is reporting that Arsene Wenger is determined to land Shkodran Mustafi or Jonny Evans prior to Sunday's opening fixture with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium as he continues to deal with a defensive crisis.
Per Mertesacker is already sidelined for up to five months with a knee injury while Gabriel Paulista sustained ankle ligament damage in Sunday's 3-2 win over Manchester City and could also be out for a while.
France international Laurent Koscielny is not yet at full match fitness having only recently returned to training following Euro2016, leaving inexperienced pair Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as the only fit central defenders.
Valencia star Mustafi has been heavily linked with the Gunners over the past few weeks but the two clubs are apart in their valuations of the German with the North Londoners yet to meet the £25million asking price.
West Bromwich Albion's Evans represents a more affordable option for Wenger at around £15m but the Baggies are unlikely to allow him to leave so close to the start of the season without a replacement at the ready.
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