Arsène Wenger has agreed a £3m deal for Colombia’s World Cup goalkeeper David Ospina from Nice. The Arsenal manager has moved to fill the gap in his squad that was created by Lukasz Fabianski’s Bosman transfer to Swansea City at the end of last season and he has told Ospina that he wants him to compete with Wojciech Szczesny for the starting position.

Ospina, 25, played in each game of Colombia’s run to the World Cup quarter-finals, where they were beaten by Brazil and he impressed with his reflexes and command on crosses.

Wenger has already spent £31m on the Chile forward Alexis Sánchez from Barcelona and £12m on the France right-back Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United and, as he prepares to take the squad to the United States for Saturday’s friendly against the New York Red Bulls, he anticipates further business.

One of his most pressing issues concerns the future of the club captain, Thomas Vermaelen, who is due to report back for pre-season training on Monday. The Belgium central defender is a target for Manchester United, who are confident of signing him, given his unhappiness at his place in the pecking order at Arsenal. Vermaelen, who has one year to run on his contract, has slipped below Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

Wenger has asked for either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling to be included as a makeweight in any deal with United for Vermaelen. He is a confirmed admirer of both defenders, having tried to sign them before they moved to Old Trafford from Blackburn Rovers and Fulham respectively. Wenger considers it a bonus that each of them could provide cover at right-back.

Wenger has given extended leave until 11 August to his three Germany World Cup winners – Mertesacker, Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski – meaning that they will miss the Community Shield against Manchester City at Wembley on 10 August and stand to lack match fitness for the beginning of the Premier League season; Arsenal open at home to Crystal Palace on 16 August.

Wenger prefers to give his players a four-week break after a major summer championship – Germany beat Argentina in the World Cup final on 13 July – although they do have the option of returning earlier if they so wish. Jack Wilshere, the England midfielder, was scheduled to report on Monday but he came back last week.

Arsenal’s France World Cup players – Debuchy, Koscielny and Olivier Giroud – are to return on Monday, when Wenger takes the squad to Austria for a short training camp before they return to London for next weekend’s Emirates Cup. Sánchez will link up at some point next week and he could get his first run-out in Arsenal’s colours in one of their matches at the tournament. They face Benfica on Saturday, 2 August, and Monaco the following day.