Wenger linked with move for Ajax defender Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld

Arsene Wenger is reportedly set to make a move for Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld.

The Dutch outfit have confirmed Arsenal representatives have spoken to them about acquiring the centre-half’s services.

Arsenal manager Wenger is ready to splash the cash on at least three players after a summer on inactivity in the transfer market.

The transfer window closes in a little over six days and fans and critics have rounded on the Frenchman for failing to bolster the Gunners squad.

Belgian international Alderweireld, 24, came through the Ajax youth ranks and earned his place in the team when Thomas Vermaelen left to join Arsenal.

Ajax are keen to keep Alderweireld, who is valued at around £6million, but he has just a year remaining on his contract so they have been forced to cash in now or risk losing him on a free in 12 months.

Ajax director of footballer Marc Overmars, a former Gunners star, has already turned down a bid from Atletico Madrid.

He said: “We have rejected the offer from Atletico Madrid for Toby Alderweireld. We were contacted this weekend but it was not considered sufficient for a player of the national team of Belgium.”

Arsenal face Fenerbahce in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier at the Emirates tonight.

Wenger’s side go into the game with a healthy 3-0 lead from the first leg in Turkey.

But Wenger is being cautious in his approach to the clash and says he will not rest players.

He said: “It will be stability in the team, Maybe one or two who are a bit injured will be rested, but 95 per cent of the team who played at Fulham will play.

“It will show consistency and, therefore, I’m already focused today to go into this game with full commitment. For me, top-level sport is just about consistency.

“It says it all that I won’t rest players. It shows how important it is to us. It’s of course a very, very, very important tie for us.

“We want to be in the group stage the next day, and that demands attitude and commitment and desire to play the game with full power, like we love to do.”

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