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Arsenal have ‘intensified talks’ with Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand as they look to provide Kieran Tierney with cover.
The Gunners emerged as an interested party in the Englishman’s signature after the announcement of his south-coast exit this summer.
He will leave for free this summer when his contract expires on June 30, having made nearly 250 appearances over seven seasons after arriving from Chelsea.
And the Daily Mail have reported that the North London side are now acting on their interest in Bertrand.
Talks between the Gunners and the full-back’s representatives have ‘intensified’ for the 31-year-old, who won the Champions League and Europa League at Stamford Bridge.
But they could face competition from Premier League champions Manchester City who are also enquiring into the Englishman’s availability.
Arsenal’s interest in Bertrand has emerged as they look for competition in Tierney’s position, who has played almost every minute of his 25 top-flight games this season.
The Scot has been absent with two different injuries this season, though, which has left Mikel Arteta short of options.
Second choice Sead Kolasinac has been with former side Schalke since January, leading his side to relegation from the Bundesliga for the first time in 33 years.
With his contract expiring on the same day as Bertrand’s, the man who has made just nine appearances for the Gunners this season looks set for an exit.
While Konstantinos Mavropanos’ second season on loan in Germany suggests Arteta will be chasing a new name over the summer at full-back.
Bertrand is not the only player Arsenal are looking at, though, as they have prioritised four other positions for the upcoming transfer window.
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While Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares tussling on the right, long-term targets Max Aarons and Tariq Lamptey could be approached to boost the defence.
Midfield problems have also seen the North London side get linked with Sheffield United’s Sander Berge and Brighton star Yves Bissouma.
And Arteta wants some competition for goalkeeper Bernd Len o as well as attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.
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