Arsenal have suffered further setback in their search for a central defender after the club were informed by West Bromwich Albion that even a £16m ($21m) bid will not tempt them to allow Jonny Evans to leave the club this summer. Arsene Wenger is desperate to sign a centre-back after his experienced defenders were struck down by injury during pre-season.
Per Mertesacker has been ruled out for five months with a knee injury, while Gabriel Paulista is sidelined for eight weeks with an ankle knock picked during the Gunners' final pre-season game against Manchester City. Koscielny, meanwhile, is not fully match fit after returning to training just one week prior to the start of the season.
The inexperienced Calum Chambers and summer signing Rob Holding are the only options available to the French manager at the moment and started the opening game of the season against Liverpool, which the Gunners lost 4-3. The manager is unlikely to risk Koscielny, but could be tempted to play Nacho Monreal, who has played as a centre-back previously.
According to the Sun, the Baggies have made it clear to the north London club that even a bid of £16m, which will represent a profit of around £10m will not be enough to sign the Northern Irishman. The 28-year-old former Manchester United star joined the Baggies after former Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal deemed him surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
Wenger's desperate search for a defender has seen Arsenal being linked with a number of players from across Europe. Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi has been the most frequently mentioned name, with Sky Sports reporting that the Premier League side and the player have already agreed personal terms, but the two clubs are yet to agree a fee.
Apart from the Germany international, the Gunners have also been linked to Fenerbache's Simon Kjaer and Bayer Leverkusen's Omer Toprak, who are viewed as alternatives if the deal to bring Mustafi to the Emirates Stadium fails.