Aug. 02, 2010 - 06268272 date 02 08 2010 Copyright imago GEPA Pictures Football DFL Bremen Training Bath Waltersdorf Austria 02 Aug 10 Football 1 German Bundesliga SV Werder Bremen IFCS Training camps Picture shows Per Mertesacker Werder the Interview PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxITA men Football ger 1 BL 2010 2011 Bath Waltersdorf Training camps Vdig xsk 2010 horizontal premiumd.

As far as Arsene Wenger is concerned, you suspect it’s a task he ranks up there with taxing the car or cleaning the gutters, but he does appear set to sign another centre half sometime over the next couple of weeks.

He has little choice really, with prodigal son Sol Campbell disappeared once more – a dozen fatted calves undoubtedly in tow – and Gallas and Silvestre also seemingly gone, at least if they can find takers with deep enough pockets and/or reserves of patience.

“We are still on the search,” confirmed Arsene last week, no doubt with a heavy sign, as he pondered hours away from tika-taka practice.

“At the moment we only have three centre backs and we have seen last season you needed five. I believe we need at least four because we have some other players who can fill in this position but overall we are still on the search.”

So who is on Arsene’s watch list and who looks his best bet to challenge Johan Djorou and Laurent Koscielny for the vacant slot in Thomas Vermaelen’s tag-team?

Per Mertesacker

We know how Arsene hates buying players off the back of a standout performance in an international tournament (Arshavin aside and we’re not yet really sure if Andrey’s performances will have changed his thinking) but the Werder Bremen beanpole has been on the radar all summer, even though Bremen insist they’re not selling.

Pros: The six foot six stopper would add much-needed height on set-pieces at both ends and has a reasonable eye for a goal. At 25, he’s the perfect age – wealth of experience with 69 German caps.

Cons: Probably more expensive than Arsene would like having forked out on Koscielny. Lacks lightning pace and can look clumsy. Perhaps a little injury prone. Could he really play with Vermaelen?

Will we get? **

Do we want? ***

Phil Jagielka

Again Everton insist they’re not selling the player that made quite an impression on Arsenal players and fans during Sheffield United’s time in the Premier League. And unlike some of his colleagues that wasn’t an entirely physical one.

Pros: Knows the Premier League inside out and would surely be a huge addition on visits to the usual cloggers. Could fill in at full-back when required. Competitive attitude that could only be a positive influence on some of the younger players.

Cons: Very pricey with English premium inflating fee. No international experience to speak of – to be behind Lescott, Upson and Carragher at 28 doesn’t look good on the CV even if injuries played a part. Oh yeah, injuries.

Will we get? *

Do we want? ***

Gary Cahill

Could yet become an Irish international if he tires of waiting for Fabio Capello. Just the father figure Conor Henderson and Sean McDermott need.

Pros: All the Jagielka plusses with a little less experience but perhaps greater durability and two or three inches taller. Would certainly know how to handle Kevin Davies. Domestic scoring rate similar to Mertesacker.

Cons: Not cheap. Again a little similar to Vermaelen. Who will do the recovery defending that Gallas did?

Will we get? **

Do we want? ****

Emir Spahic

Thought that lot didn’t really sound like Arsene? Here’s the real list with Montpelier’s rugged Bosnian defender elbowing himself (good lad) to the top in recent days.

Pros: A wizened old man of 30 – can replace that world-weary wisdom we’ve lost with Silvestre’s departure. One of the form centre backs in Ligue 1 last term. Likes a ruck by all accounts and there’s nothing those Bosnian lads haven’t seen. Probably fairly cheap.

Cons: Played only about 150 times in his top-level career. Just about six foot.

Will we get? ****

Do we want? ***

Jan Vertonghen

Ray: Purgatory’s kind of like the in-between one. You weren’t really shit, but you weren’t all that great either. Like Tottenham. Do you believe in all that stuff, Ken?
Ken: Tottenham?

Bruges makes you say the most generous things doesn’t it? No doubt all of Belgium is the same, which makes us wary of heeding the big noises coming out of there about Tommy V’s former Ajax buddy Jan Vertonghen

Pros: Played with Thomas at Ajax, where they gelled quite nicely thanks. It seems they may even love each other like only central defensive partners can. Young, versatile, can cover full-back and midfield. At least two inches taller than Tommy.

Cons: Hey, we struck gold once, let’s not push our luck with this Belgian thing.

Will we get? ****

Do we want? **

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