By Will Butcher
Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic, according to a tweet.
The German giants announced on Friday morning that the 27-year-old had been excused from training after being permission to hold talks with a new club.
The Metro claimed that the Gunners had made a £12million offer for the Serbia international on Friday morning, while Premier League rivals Liverpool and Everton were also interested.
However, Gazzetta Dello Sport journalist Emanuele Giulianelli tweeted on Friday afternoon that Arsenal have not yet sealed a deal for the defender.
Transfer expert Giulianelli claims Arsenal are still £4million off the Bundesliga club’s asking price.
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) July 8, 2016
This comes after Dortmund’s official Twitter page claimed that the Serbian international had missed training, stating: “Neven Subotic was released from training, to lead negotiations with a potential new club.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 7, 2016
Arsene Wenger is keen on bringing in a centre-back, with Per Mertesacker’s long-term fitness, Laurent Koscielny’s future and Gabriel’s recent form all causing headaches.
Subotic set to leave the German giants this summer falling down the pecking order at the Westfalenstadion, with a move to the Premier League looking more and more likely.
The former Mainz defender made just six Bundesliga appearances this season. Subotic struggled with a back injury during the first half of the season, and then suffered an arm injury in the second half.
Subotic has refused to play for his national side since 2013, where he walked out on the side during Serbia’s futile 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Premier League new-boys Middlesbrough were also linked with a bid for Subotic, but it seems Wenger is in pole position to bring the long-haired defender to North London.
In other Arsenal news, Wenger is close to completing the signing of a fellow countryman from Lille.