Arsenal have renewed interest in signing Swansea City defender Ashley Williams. The Gunners are reportedly keen to strengthen their defensive options and see the Welshman as a potentially key signing.

Ashley Williams

The Mail Online believes pre-season injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and Nacho Monreal may finally force Arsene Wenger's hand, after disagreeing with the Swans over their £10m valuation of the player.

The report adds the north London side had scouts watching the Welsh club's midweek Europa League qualifying clash against Swedish side Malmo.

Belgian international Vermaelen is suffering from back problems and is expected to be unavailable for at least six weeks, according to the Metro. The good news, though, is that Spain left-back Monreal should be fit to train next week, meaning he could be fit in time for the 2013/14 Premier League season.

Nevertheless, the fact that the absences leave only a handful of experienced first team options at the back has worried Wenger, who is also uncertain about French right-back Bacary Sagna's future. The 30-year-old is out of contract in 2014 and although talks over an extension are ongoing, an end seems some distance away, according to Sky Sports.

The problem is also that French international Laurent Koscielny is suspended for the first leg of a critical Champions League qualifier, leaving only German international Per Mertesacker as fit and available.

Arsenal have yet to ascertain the identity of their opponent for a place in the Champions League's money-spinning group stages but cannot afford to be complacent - failure to qualify for the elite tournament could deal a death blow to their season even before it begins.

Meanwhile, over at the Liberty Stadium, the Swans have made Williams captain of the first team, to dissuade from him accepting the Gunners' long-standing interest.

As back-up, Arsenal have also been linked with a move for SC Freiburg youngster Matthias Ginter. The 19-year-old can play both defensive midfield and centre-back and is considered one of the brightest prospects for the German national team.

The Mirorr believes Ginter could be available for £5m.