Ezequiel Garay
Arsenal are plotting a summer move for Zenit St Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay Getty

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Zenit St Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

Arsene Wenger is looking to bolster his back line ahead of next season, as he seeks a long-term replacement for Gunners vice-captain Per Mertesacker. The north London club do have Gabriel Paulista and young Calum Chambers, but the report claims that the manager is seeking a quality player with experience at the highest level.

Garay, who joined the Russian club just last summer from Benfica for £4m ($6.3m), is reportedly open to the ideal of moving away despite winning the title in his first season at the club under former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas. The Argentine international is currently rated at £13m ($20.4m).

The 28-year-old Argentinean, who is currently with his national team at the ongoing Copa America tournament in Chile, is reportedly open to moving to a more reputed league in order to firmly establish himself in his country's first-team. The Albiceleste are currently preparing to face Paraguay in the semi-final of the tournament.

Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the defender, the Mirror reports, and were linked with a move for him last summer, as well as during this year's January transfer window. But the Red Devils have since shifted their focus, first to Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels and more lately to Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos.

Meanwhile, Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck, who joined the Gunners last summer from United, is delighted that fans of the north London club "have taken to him immediately", making him a fan favourite at the club.

"It's great and it gives you even more of an incentive to do well. You want to get on to the pitch, do well for yourself, the team and the whole club in general. The fans are very special in this game and it's great that the Arsenal fans have taken to me so well," Welbeck told Arsenal's official site.