David Ornstein confirms that there is truth in reports that Arsenal are tracking young Reims defender Axel Disasi, while the Gunners are set to sign Pablo Mari in a permanent deal.

Goal claimed over the weekend that Arsenal have ‘formally contacted’ Reims over the centre-half, with club scouts ‘monitoring him closely’ throughout the season.

They would have seen him play all but 90 minutes of the current league season for the team in fifth with Ligue Un’s best defensive record.

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With a single year left on his contract and little chance of a renewal, Reims are looking to recoup £13.2m (€15m) for Disasi.

Speaking on the The Ornstein & Chapman Podcast, The Athletic journalist Ornstein has confirmed Arsenal have an interest in the defender.

“We know central defence is an area that they’re looking to strengthen,” Ornstein said.

“In recent days, they’ve been linked with Axel Disasi at Reims. The young French defender who’s only got a year left on his contract.

“It is true that Arsenal have been tracking him over the last year or so – as have many other clubs.”

However, Ornstein reckons that ultimately Arsenal may look at other options with Mikel Arteta having a “preference” to sign a left-footed centre-half.

“I’m not saying I know for sure they won’t look to bring [Disasi] in, but what I do know is that he’s a right-footed centre-half and Mikel Arteta’s preference is to sign permanently a left-footed centre-half,” Ornstein continued.

“As such, I understand that it’s very likely that they’ll make the loan deal for Pablo Mari into a permanent transfer for around £10m…or Euros, they’re about the same now.

“That would satisfy Arteta’s need for the left-sided centre-half, but I’m not exactly sure what else they’ll do.”


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