With a fee for Thomas Vermaelen now agreed between Barcelona and Arsenal for the transfer of the Belgian to the Nou Camp, the departure of Arsenal’s outgoing captain means there is a defensive vacuum to be filled at the heart of central defence.
Reports have emerged that Arsenal are looking to conclude a deal for Manchester City Serbian defender, Matija Nastasic.
The 21 year old was a standout performer in the Manchester City first team in his first season in the Premier League after arriving from Fiorentina in 2012. However, he endured a difficult last season where his appearances were restricted because of injuries and fitness issues. It meant he fell behind other centre halves at the Etihad Stadium.
The Serbian is expected to fall further behind the pecking order at Manchester City with the imminent arrival of French defender Eliaquim Mangala from Porto whose signing has been delayed because of third party ownership.
Matija Nastasic comes with a reputation of being a versatile defender who can play in several positions across the back line, mostly notably at left back. Following his one season in Seria A, Manchester City spent not just €15 million in signing him, but Stefan Savic was also used as a make weight to seal the deal. Matija Nastasic stands at 6ft 2ins which makes him comfortable in dealing with aerial balls
However, despite this link, the chances of this transfer coming to fusion might be slim, as Manchester City could be reluctant to sell a player to a direct rival, especially a young player who is yet to reach it peak years. They might consider selling him to a club outside of England or a lesser club in the Premier League. But with a previous history of doing transfer business before that involved he transfers of Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri, the Etihad Stadium might be keen to do business with Arsenal after all, but the chances looks slim.
Matija Nastasic has been used to being rotated and also used to not playing all the time at Manchester City, if the club can bring him in, they will be getting a player who has adapted to playing behind an established partnership in defence.
The Serbian defender is left footed just like the player he is likely to replace at the Emirates, Thomas Vermaelen. Arsene Wenger is known to like left footed defenders because to him, they bring balance to the defence.