Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger is allegedly lining up a shock move for Watford defender Adrian Mariappa.
Reports this morning have emerged that the Watford defender is seen as good value for money by the Arsenal manager, who would only have to pay around £2m to get his man.
Arsenal’s defensive frailties once again reared their ugly head in yesterday’s FA Cup 3-2 defeat of Aston Villa and Wenger is ready to bring in a player that can give some competition to the underperforming Johan Djourou.
Wenger himself was at Watford’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham on Friday, where Mariappa put in a solid performance against one of the most potent attacking forces in the Premier League. This was enough for Wenger to make a move the 25-year-old, who can play in the centre of defence or at right-back.
The London-born defender has spent his whole career at Vicarage Road, making 202 appearances for the club along the way.
His outstanding performances this season have been generating interest from the likes of Newcastle and Swansea, but a chance to move from Championship to Champions League football would make it a no brainer for the player if a deal could be agreed between the two London clubs.
The main sticking point of the deal probably will lie in the transfer fee with Watford already rejecting a £2m bid from Newcastle; with that in mind it looks unlikely that they will accept this identical offer from Arsenal. It is thought that the Hornets are holding out for around £4m.