Arsenal are close to a deal for the 19-year-old Southampton right-back Calum Chambers, which is believed to be worth around £11m as Arsène Wenger looks to swell his defensive options.
Chambers has made only 18 Premier League starts for Southampton, yet Wenger has had no hesitation over the fee, such is the potential that he sees in the Hampshire-born player.
The Arsenal manager has already signed the France right-back Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle to replace Bacary Sagna, who has joined Manchester City on a Bosman free but that has not deterred him from moving for Chambers, whose arrival will place a question mark over defender Carl Jenkinson’s future at the Premier League club.
Wenger has previously raided Southampton for young English talent, taking Theo Walcott in 2006 and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011, and the south coast club are having to contend with an exodus this summer.
The manager Mauricio Pochettino has gone to Tottenham Hotspur, to be replaced by Ronald Koeman, and a clutch of key players have left, with Luke Shaw going to Manchester United, and Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert joining Liverpool. Dejan Lovren is also on the brink of moving to Anfield.
Southampton also know that Tottenham and Arsenal covet the midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, although they are fiercely determined to keep him.
Wenger, meanwhile, has spoken for the first time about Arsenal’s incoming new goalkeeper, David Ospina, who starred for Colombia at the World Cup finals. Arsenal have agreed a £3m deal for Ospina with Nice.
“At the start, [Wojciech] Szczesny will be the No1 [goalkeeper] then we’ll be down to performances and if Ospina shows that he is better, he will play,” Wenger said.