Arsenal need to improve their defence this summer but Unai Emery knows that his budget will be limited. As a result, he is in the market for some bargain additions.
This has led him to target FC Basel defender Eder Balanta. According to The Daily Star, Arsenal could swoop for £4m-rated defender Balanta.
The 8-cap Colombia international is currently playing in Switzerland with Basel. He joined the Swiss heavyweights on a four-year contract in 2016 after leaving River Plate.
Balanta’s career has seen him make 82 appearances for River Plate and 81 appearances for Basel. Last season, he played 31 games in all competitions, scoring three goals.
The 26-year-old operates in central defence, which is a priority position for Emery this summer. The Gunners need reinforcements at the back and £4m Balanta could be a bargain addition.
Emery prefers a formation using three central defenders. But his current options have been disappointing for various reasons, including poor form and injuries.
Laurent Koscielny is injury prone and getting older. And Shkodran Mustafi has been widely criticised for poor performances. Meanwhile, Nacho Monreal has been linked with an exit.
Calum Chambers is returning from his loan at Fulham and Emery will run the rule over him in pre-season. So Sokratis remains the only centre-back with few concerns.
Balanta might not be the most spectacular addition but he would be cheap. With funds limited, the South American defender might be a masterstroke or a gamble which doesn’t pay off.