Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has refused to comment on speculation linking him with a move for Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker.
The Gunners' boss has allowed William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Philippe Senderos to leave the club this summer, while Sol Campbell rejected a new deal at the Emirates to join Newcastle United.
Arsenal’s mass exodus in defence has left them with just Thomas Vermaelen, Johan Djourou and new signing Laurent Koscielny to choose from at centre-back, which has fuelled speculation that Wenger is targeting another new player for that position.
As well as Mertesacker, Udinese’s Cristian Zapata has been linked with a move to Arsenal, but Wenger would not be drawn on speculation, claiming that asking prices can rise if a team's interest in their player is known.
Asked if Mertesacker would fit the bill, the Arsenal boss told the club’s official website: "I wouldn't like to comment on names because it raises the price straightaway 50 per cent."