Arsenal FC have reportedly placed a bid in the region of £12 million for Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic in order to improve their defence
Subotic is expected to be on the move during the summer transfer window, as he has dropped down the pecking order at Dortmund last season. The Serbian defender has been out of action since April, after being diagnosed for Thrombosis. Even when the defender was fit, Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel opted to field a centre-back pairing of Mats Hummels and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
According to German newspaper Bild, Dortmund have given Subotic the permission to talk to other clubs, as the 27-year-old does not feature in Tuchel’s plans for the upcoming season. The report also suggests that the Bundesliga club are willing to let Subotic go for as little a fee as £4 million.
Subotic is said to have attracted interest from a number of clubs from both the Bundesliga, as well as the Premier League. While FC Köln has shown interest from Germany, clubs like Sunderland and Stoke are said to have shown some interest in Subotic. The Serbian has even been linked to have a reunion with former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
However, both Sunderland and Stoke are said to have withdrawn their interest in the player as they believe that he would not be able to qualify for a work permit in United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s interest in Subotic may have also waned, with Mamadou Sakho being cleared of doping charges.
With just Köln remaining as potential competitors, Arsenal have raced ahead in the race to land Subotic’s signature by submitting a £12 million bid for the centreback (£8 million more than Dortmund’s asking price), according to German publication Express.
Arsenal have been on the lookout for a quality centreback this summer, in a bid to improve their defence. While Frenchman Laurent Koscielny has been a consistent performer in defence, his longstanding German partner Per Mertesacker has reached is long past his peak, and is set to turn 32 in September.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Paulista has been too rash with his tackling, and manager Arsene Wenger has refrained from giving him a regular spot in the starting lineup. Subotic has been out of form at Dortmund recently, but his signing would bring in a wealth of experience to the Arsenal backline.
Despite being just 27-years-old, Subotic has already spent eight years with Dortmund, winning two Bundesliga titles, and reaching one Champions League final. The drastic drop in his performance level is a matter of concern for any potential suitor though.
Subotic had made around double the number of tackles and clearances per game, in the 2012/13 campaign, than he did last season. However, the Serbian has shown that he is still a huge physical presence in any defence, winning 3.3 aerial duels, every 90 minutes. Comparitively, the towering 6’6″ Mertesacker has won much fewer aerial duels (2.29).
Thus, while 27-year-old has been miserably out of form, a change in clubs might just be the thing that would bring the old Subotic back.