Arsenal edge closer to deal for seven-time Italian champion

Arsenal are reportedly in advanced negotiations to pursue the services of Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus. The Switzerland international has decided against signing a new contract with the Bianconeri and he is expected to be available on a Bosman when his deal expires next month.

According to Evening Standard, the Gunners could be leading the race for the former Lazio man, who is eyeing a fresh challenge outside of the Serie A. The report adds that the 34-year-old has recently visited the club’s London Colney training ground, though the club have yet to agree on a contract with the experienced right-back.

Judging by his age, Lichtsteiner may not emerge as the regular right-back ahead of Hector Bellerin but he would nevertheless provide competition to the Spaniard, who has looked far off from his best form in recent seasons.

Bellerin has particularly been vulnerable in the defensive side of his game and this is something which the Gunners may look to resolve in the short term with Lichtsteiner, who offers leadership as well as valuable experience.

Arsenal were largely disappointing in the defensive front last season where they leaked 51 goals in the top-flight and this transpired into their worst-ever finish (sixth) under Arsene Wenger in his final season in charge.

As such, the backline should emerge as the key focus for the summer transfer window with Laurent Koscielny sidelined for the long-term whilst Shkodran Mustafi has yet to put in a string of consistent performances in the Gunners shirt.

Mustafi was touted for a possible switch to Inter Milan during the previous summer transfer window and the Nerazzurri could yet return for the former Valencia man after having clinched their progress into next season’s Champions League.

Lichtsteiner has spent seven seasons with Juventus since his move from Lazio and during this period, he has won seven Serie A titles, five Italian Cups and four Italian Super Cups.

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