Arsenal are planning a shock move for Liverpool's Daniel Agger as they search for a replacement for club captain Thomas Vermaelen, who seems destined to leave the Gunners.
Sam Adams of the Mirror reports Arsene Wenger will target a move for the 29-year-old centre-back who has struggled with injury over the past few years.
Dejan Lovren's arrival at Anfield has left Agger's starting place in doubt under Brendan Rodgers, and Adams says Arsenal will make the £12 million-rated Danish international an offer to prise him away from the North West.
Wenger recently confirmed Vermaelen could leave the Emirates during the transfer window.
He said "It is a possibility that he goes," per BBC Sport, and if the Belgium international leaves he will search for a direct replacement as the skipper is "an important player in our squad."
Wenger added, per BBC Sport: "It is 1 August and the transfer window closes on the 31st. It is a long time. We are a bit ahead of what we usually do because the availability on the market was bigger than before."
Agger has been linked with Barcelona in the past and it is thought the Catalan team may once again move for the player, with Brondby also interested in his services, per Simon Jones of the Mail Online.
Football journalist Rafael Hernandez also believes Barca could sign Agger in the near future. He tweeted:
Agger only managed to start 16 games in Liverpool's Premier League campaign last season, per WhoScored.com, and has been injury prone for a while.
When he is fit he is a fine defender, but any move for him at present must represent a gamble for Wenger.
Vermaelen has also suffered with injury for many seasons, and it is questionable if Arsenal should replace him with a player with similar issues.
Lovren's purchase will mean Agger will look for a team that can give him first-team opportunities, but the Gunners will not be able to promise him this.
If Vermaelen leaves Arsenal, Wenger does need to replace him. But with the individual skill sets of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny present, the Gunners might look towards acquiring a younger and fitter player as cover. Agger has previously shown he is a cultured central defender, but Arsenal do not seem like a good fit for him, especially if his injury problems persist.
Vermaelen has had little impact at Arsenal for some time, so his departure will be an opportunity to bring in a young player with long-term prospects. Wenger may be concerned about the overall experience of his back line after the departure of Bacary Sagna, but Agger may bring with him more negatives than positives.