Mario Yepes
Mario Yepes (R)Reuters

Arsenal are reportedly lining up a shock move for Colombian defender Mario Yepes, who is currently a free agent after being released by Serie A side Atlanta this summer.

According to the Express, Arsene Wenger is ready to offer the defender a one-year deal and bring him to the Emirates as a backup for Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers.

The Gunners are short at the back after failing to find a replacement for former captain Thomas Vermaelen, who left the club to join Barcelona during the transfer window.

The north London club had been linked to various defenders during the summer, with Kostas Manolas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos being the most frequently mentioned names. But the former ended up moving to AS Roma and Arsenal were put off by the hefty demands made by the latter's club Borussia Dortmund.

The 38-year-old Colombian, who captained his country to the quarter-finals of this summer's World Cup in Brazil, is a highly-experienced defender having plied his trade with top clubs such as River Plate, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan.

Yepes will be a good addition to the Arsenal back line and will provide able cover if one of the first-choice defenders suffer an injury.

Meanwhile, Arsenal striker Joel Campbell has revealed that playing in the World Cup was the best experience of his life and that he is proud to have been part of the Costa Rican team that created history by reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament.

"Playing at the World Cup was the best experience of my life so far. The World Cup is something unique. My team-mates and I worked really hard and made history for our country. We are really happy about that," Campbell told Arsenal's official site.