Manchester City, Real Madrid
Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic is a target for Arsenal and Arsene WengerReuters

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is already making full-fledged plans to bring in a central defender, with skipper Thomas Vermaelen expected to make his move to Manchester United before the summer transfer window closes.

A swap deal with United has been mooted with one of Chris Smalling or Phil Jones coming to the Emirates for Vermaelen, but Wenger has identified another young central defender, who also plies his trade in Manchester.

Wenger has, time and again, seen his Arsenal players make the move from North London to the blue half of Manchester, with the latest one being Bacary Sagna's free transfer to Man City this summer. But if the latest reports are to be believed the tables could be turned.

Arsenal are reportedly keen on bringing in Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic, according to the Daily Mail. City have plenty of problems regarding their foreign player quota, and with their number of players in the Champions League squad reduced to just 21, there will be a few players who will be forced to sit out from this year's competition.

Manuel Pellegrini is also reportedly closing in on a big-money move for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, which could further hamper Nastasic's chances of first-team football. City also have a talented young defender in Karim Rekik, which again opens up the possibility of Nastasic moving away from the Etihad.

Nastasic has been rated at around £15-20 million and that should not deter Arsenal or Wenger too much, with the club showing already they have plenty of money to spend in this summer transfer window.

The central defender is proven in the English Premier League and therefore should not have any trouble settling into Arsenal, which is another factor which would have tipped the scales in his favour from the manager's point of view.

The issue will be convincing City to sell to their Premier League rivals Arsenal, with Nastasic, still only 21, seen as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe. However, with Financial Fair Play – City are expected to spend over £30 million to bring Mangala to the Etihad – coming into play, the club might be forced to recoup some of that money in the transfer market.

Midfielder Javi Garcia has been widely tipped to leave the Etihad this summer, primarily to meet the club's overseas player quota, but if Arsenal make a big offer for Nastasic, Wenger just might be able to tempt City to sell.

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