Arsenal find new alternative to Khedira playing in Croatia

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Differing sums of money may have been bandied around, but what cannot be denied is that Arsenal will be spending again come the January transfer window.

In desperate need of defensive reinforcement, in the form of both a centre-back and a holding midfield player, Arsene Wenger has himself admitted his eagerness to remedy the shortfalls in his squad this winter.

Sami Khedira is one such solution, although Chelsea’s pursuit of the German Real Madrid outcast could prove a sizeable spanner in the Gunners’ plan.

Adrien Rabiot is another who could tempt the French manager, although it is reported that the Paris Saint-Germain youngster prefers a switch to Roma over a north London move.

So, with backup plans in short supply, the extensive scouting network Wenger operates at the Emirates has been called into action again, with the men keeping watch in Croatia seemingly coming up trumps.

Dinamo Zagreb are the Manchester United of the Prva HNL league, winning it 16 times in their history.

They have produced some of the world’s most revered footballers in recent times, including Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic, and have a midfielder among their current crop attracting Arsenal’s attention.

21-year-old Marcelo Brozovic is playing a big part in the club’s current dominating domestic season and has been earmarked as a £6.5m option to play a deep-lying playmaker/defence screener role for Wenger.

A full international, Brozovic featured for his country at the World Cup this past summer and would come cheap enough to allow Wenger to spend cash elsewhere to refurbish his defence.

Arsenal aren’t the only club interested in the Zagreb native though, with Inter already thought to have bid £3.5m for the player’s services.

After their recent defensive frailties were exposed in a 2-2 draw with Hull, Arsenal are 4/7 to finish in the top four this season, rated behind Manchester United.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.