Arsene Wenger: Arsenal are short of options in defence

Per Mertesacker

Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is 'short' at the back but is not close to making signings.

Arsenal are "not close to signing anybody," according to Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

The North Londoners are two games into their multi-front campaign, unbeaten in both, but are light in terms of options in defence - as recognised by Wenger himself who told the press following the club's 0-0 draw with Besiktas at the Ataturk Stadium in Turkey in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the Champions League that Arsenal are "a bit short at the back."

The North Londoners ratified the sale of tertiary choice defender Thomas Vermaelen, who transferred to Barcelona in a £15 million move earlier in the window, but have already seemingly found the Belgian's replacement in burgeoning 19-year-old Calum Chambers.

The Englishman, who hails from the same Southampton academy that gave Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain their football educations, has deputised marvelously for World Cup winner Per Mertesacker and could prove reliable as a stand-in throughout the season.

However, as a utility, he currently provides cover at right back, centre back and defensive midfield. With few other options available on the fringes of the first team, Wenger would need to re-enter the market in order to ensure injuries do not curtail the club's

"We are a bit short at the back," Wenger conceded.

Throughout the summer, Arsenal have been tied to defensive additions, with Daniel Agger from Liverpool and Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund both linked.

Neither are likely… but, according to reports, Kostas Manolas (above right, with Joel Campbell) has undergone a medical evaluation at London Colney ahead of a prospective £6 million switch from Olympiacos.

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Manolas featured in seven Champions League matches last term and returned commendable statistics including 13 interceptions, 17 tackles and an extraordinary 70 clearances.

In defensive midfield, Arsenal have also reportedly moved for £5 million rated Adrien Rabiot, a highly-touted Paris Saint-Germain defensive-minded midfielder whose contract at the Parc des Princes expires in one year.

Should Wenger complete deals for both Manolas and Rabiot, on top of signing Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Chambers, would you consider it a successful summer?

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