Arsene Wenger has appeared to rule out the prospect of Arsenal signing a new striker by insisting he only has eyes on a new centre-back.
As seems the case every summer, Arsenal have been linked with a host of centre-forwards, including Alexandre Lacazette, Mauro Icardi and Karim Benzema.
However, Wenger says he only wants to sign a new defender, following the injuries to Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista, and the late return of Laurent Koscielny from Euro 2016 duty.
When asked which areas he wanted to strengthen before the end of the transfer window, he replied: “No other specific areas [apart from centre back]. It really depends on the quality we find. If someone can strengthen our team in any position and gives us superior quality then we will do it.”
Valencia’s Germany international Shkodran Mustafi is understood to be close to joining the Gunners, but when asked how close the deal is to being complete, Wenger replied: “I cannot tell you.”
The Frenchman is likely to rely on new signing Rob Holding to start the season opener at Liverpool, with the 20-year-old expected to line up alongside Calum Chambers.
Wenger insists he is not concerned by Holding’s lack of experience, and is confident of his team’s chances ahead of the new campaign.
“He has played in the Championship so that is a good experience, to deal with one level higher,” he said.
He added: “We have stability. We have finished second last season and we all have the desire to improve as a team and we know we have to jump forward and
continue to improve.
“Pre-season was encouraging but now we go for points and want to transfer our confidence from pre-season into the Premier League season.”