Arsenal set to sign defenders Mertesacker and Santos

Per Mertesacker

Transfer Talk: Per Mertesacker is in London for a medical as Wenger pays £6.2m for Brazilian Andre Santos

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 15:57 ON Tue 30 Aug 2011

Arsene Wenger has begun rebuilding his shell-shocked squad with two defenders. German international Per Mertesacker - captain of Werder Bremer - is reportedly in London to undergo a medical at Arsenal.

If the £10m move goes ahead, the 26-year-old (above) looks likely to join Brazilian left-back Andre Santos, who is set to join the Gunners on a four-year deal. Both the Sun and the Daily Mail report that Wenger has concluded a deal with Santos's Turkish side Fenerbahce.

It's believed Arsenal have paid £6.2m bid for the 28-year-old, who won the first of his 22 caps in 2009. Santos is due to undergo a medical this week.
 
And reports are rife that the Gunners are on the brink of signing Chelsea's French midfielder Florent Malouda. The Sun says that they have offered the Blues £10m for the 31-year-old, who joined Chelsea in 2007 but has struggled to impose himself at Stamford Bridge in recent weeks.

The bad news is that Lille playmaker Eden Hazard has distanced himself from any move to Arsenal following their 8-2 thrashing by Manchester United.

Speaking on Monday, the 20-year-old Belgian international said of his commitment to Lille: "I enjoy it here. The rumours must stop. I am here."

Lille president Michel Seydoux seemed to be having fun at Arsenal's expense when he told reporters after the Gunners debacle at Old Trafford: "We will not lose him now."

Hot on the heels of Hazard's rejection of Arsenal comes the rebuff of Real Madrid midfielder Kaka, a long-time target for Wenger. The 29-year-old Brazilian has been looking for a way out of the Bernabeu for weeks, but now Kaka has said he wishes to remain in Spain. "I want to stay in Madrid," said the former Ballon d'Or winner, adding: "I am focused on Madrid and want to continue."

Meanwhile it seems that as Santos arrives he'll be passing the man he's replacing, Armand Traore, on the steps of the Emirates. The 21-year-old Senegal international was hopelessly out of his depth against United and now he has been offloaded to QPR. The Daily Mail reports that Traore will have a medical at Loftus Road before being unveiled as Neil Warnock's third signing of the summer.

Chelsea are also offloading unwanted players. Midfielder Yossi Benayoun is set to leave the Bridge before Wednesday's transfer deadline and the 31-year-old confirmed the rumours by taking to twitter to inform the world: "I'm negotiating with several teams... news soon."

The Israeli captain has been reduced to a bit-part player for Chelsea in recent months and rumours abound where he might end up. According to the Telegraph it will be Liverpool, while the Sun hints at a deal with Tottenham. Arsenal have also been mooted.
 
Still with Chelsea, Talksport reports that Lille are lining up a bid for Salomon Kalou. With Romelu Lukaku recently arrived at the Blues, coach Andre Villas-Boas believes he can afford to get rid of Kalou, who's struggled to make an impression since arriving in 2006 from Feyenoord. Apparently Lille still haven't spent the £11m they made on selling Gervinho to Arsenal and a deal for the 26-year-old Kalou is imminent.

In other news, Tottenham will attempt to sign Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao from Internacional within the next 48 hours. The Lilywhites, still reeling from Sunday's 5-1 hammering by Manchester City, will come back with an improved offer to the £11m they bid for the 22-year-old earlier in the summer.

According to goal.com, Spurs will complete the sale of Peter Crouch to Stoke shortly and replace the England frontman with Damiao. · 

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