Reports have broken in France that Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard is garnering interest from Arsenal this summer as Unai Emery looks to put his own stamp on his new team.
Pavard, 22, has received a rising reputation across European football since joining the Bundesliga team in 2016 and after playing every minute of Stuttgart’s last campaign, the centre-back has been handed a call-up for the French World Cup Squad.
The impressive performances have resulted in talk that Pavard’s future lies elsewhere and Arsenal are one of a number of clubs in line to sign the young defender.
French media outlet L’Equipe have reported that the Gunners made an enquiry to Stuttgart earlier this year, but it is fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund who are in pole position to make the transfer happen ahead of teams such as Olympique Marseille and Napoli.
Stuttgart were in discussions with Dortmund over the availability of Pavard, but Lucian Favre was put off by the £44m fee being asked for.
Arsenal’s bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be watching Pavard’s situation as Mauricio Pochetinno sees the Frenchman as a possible replacement for the unsettled Toby Alderweireld.
Emery has been quick to reshape the Gunners defence after replacing Arsene Wenger as manager at the end of the season. A number of defenders have been rumoured for a move to the Emirates Stadium in the post-season, including veteran Swiss full-back Sebastian Lichsteiner.
Talking about a possible move for the 34-year-old, Emery said: “I cannot say anything about that. Nothing is finalised. Will it be done before the World Cup? I don’t know.”