By Will Butcher
Atletico Madrid centre-back Lucas Hernandez is on the radar of Arsenal as Per Mertesacker’s long-term replacement, according to reports.
The Frenchman made 16 appearances for the Champions League runners-up this season, and, aged 20, has impressed many around Europe with his ability to read the game.
The Daily Cannon reported that according to Sky Sports’ hottest whispers, Hernandez’s move to The Emirates is currently the tenth most likely of all Premier League transfers this summer.
The left-footed centre-back has a contract with Diego Simeone’s side until the summer of 2019 and it would take a considerable bid to tempt the La Liga side in allowing Hernandez to leave.
Manager Arsene Wenger is keen to bring in a centre-back this summer, with Mertesacker getting older, Laurent Koscielny’s future undecided and Brazilian Gabriel’s performances a cause for concern.
In his limited amount of appearances for Atleti, Hernandez has shown he possesses superb ball control and technique for a defender, as well as aerial prowess.
The 6ft tall defender is very quick, and given his numerous assets, Hernandez could have all the requirements to be a world-class centre back in years to come.
Versatile Hernandez has also shown that he can play at left-back, which is another area Wenger is keen on strengthening.
Wenger has so far brought in Gladbach captain Granit Xhaka, as well as Japanese hotshot Takuma Asano, and has been linked with moves for Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
In other Arsenal news, Wenger is set to make a transfer-record bid for this Spanish striker.