Arsenal are weighing up a move for Schalke 04 wing-back Atsuto Uchida, according to Goal.com. The report says the Gunners are considering the 25-year-old Japanese international as a squad player who can provide cover for the right-back slot at the Emirates.
The north London side finished the 2012/13 Premier League campaign with strong defensive performances and Arsene Wenger is keen to keep that run going. There is also concern over French international Bacary Sagna's long-term future.
The 30-year-old Sagna is in the final season of his contract and although talks over an extension are ongoing, no agreement appears in sight. It is expected that youngster Jenkinson will be promoted to a first-team slot if Sagna does leave and, in that case, Uchida will provide cover for the young Gunner.
Goal.com believes Uchida could be available for as little as £5m. He has two years on his contract with the Bundesliga club.
A move for Uchida could be expedited by the Japanese defender's preference to play in the Premier League. He moved to Schalke in 2010, from native side Kashima Antlers, and has made over 50 appearances in all competitions, so far, and has 60 caps for the national team.
He started his country's international friendly against Uruguay on 14 August before being substituted in the final minutes. Japan lost 2-4 after a brace from Diego Forlan and a goal from Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa scored for the home side.
The Goal.com report claims Wenger is also tracking long-time target Sebastien Corchia of Ligue 1 club Sochaux.
Michael Laudrup on Michu's Future
Meanwhile, Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup says there is no chance of Spaniard Miguel Michu joining the Gunners this summer. The 27-year-old Oviedo-born forward had a superb debut season in the Premier League, scoring 18 times.
He has been linked with a switch to north London but Laudrup says the Swans have no need to sell and wish to retain their top players, particularly since they will be playing in European competition this season.
"Economically this club are very good, and I think if they (Arsenal) came in with a late bid, the reaction from the board and chairman will be 'no' even if the money is ridiculous, because we would not have time to find a replacement who is near enough to the same standard," the former Barcelona and Real Madrid star said.
"You could say we got the money, but why be the richest club in the Championship? What is that worth?" I spoke to him last season when he extended his contract. "He asked me about my contract and I said: 'I am going to stay here'. He said: 'So am I'," the Dane added.
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