Arsenal have been linked with a bid for Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor. The Mail Online believes Arsene Wenger has identified the 27-year-old Toon as the answer to his defensive problems.

Taylor made 24 Premier League starts this season and six more in the Europa League and has been in excellent form throughout, leading to a call-up to the England national squad for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor (L)

However, the arrival of French international Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has raised questions over his St James' Park future. The Magpies' academy graduate may want regular first team football, if he is to establish himself in Roy Hodgson's plans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil next summer.

As far as Arsene Wenger is concerned, Taylor will be expected to offer solutions to central defensive woes likely to be heightened by the transfers of Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny. The Belgian has lost his first team place and has been linked to Spanish champions Barcelona, although Wenger insists he remains in his plans.

Koscielny, meanwhile, finished the season as one of the Emirates side's better players but has admitted disenchantment with the club's transfer policy. He has claimed he will consider his north London future if the club does not improve on its present squad.

The Gunners will release Frenchman Sebastien Squillaci when his contract expires later in the summer, leaving Wenger with only three first team central defenders. They have, however, been linked to Swansea City defender Ashley Williams as well

For his part, Taylor is believed to want to remain at St James' Park. He spoke on the future of his defensive partner, Argentine Fabricio Coloccini, in May and urged the South American to stay with the club.

Coloccini sparked a major transfer row at the club in January, when he asked to be transfer-listed for "personal" reasons. His situation was eventually resolved, temporarily, after being told it would cost £7m to buy out the remaining three years on his contract.

"Colo and I have had a great partnership over the past few seasons. We have a good understanding. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses. We seem to be able to mix it up. I've got a fantastic partnership with him, and hopefully that will continue," Taylor said.