Arsenal have been advised to prioritise strengthening their defence over signing Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.

The Gunners are reportedly on the brink of completing a deal for the Chile international as Barca seek to clinch the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool.

But despite closing in on the addition of Sanchez, who scored twice in the 2014 World Cup during Chile's run to the last 16, ex-Arsenal defender Kenny Sansom says Arsene Wenger should be focusing instead on a centre-back.

"They need a centre half, really commanding and to make sure that the whole back four and the goalkeeper and the holding midfield player get on and do their jobs," Sansom told Sky Sports News Radio.

"You have to demand protection because if you protect yourself at the back, then the midfield players do their job and you're giving less open opportunities. Definitely a strong centre-half who can demand everything from their teammates, especially the back four."

"I think he's outstanding. When you've got one special player in your team and he's performing it lifts you and I think that's what he's done for Chile. He's marvellous.

"I think he'll stay in Spain, I don't think he'll come to England just yet but who knows next year he might fancy a go in the Premier League.

"He'd be fantastic [if he signed this year] if Arsenal can have him but I hope Giroud doesn't go because he's fantastic as well. It would be marvellous if he came to Arsenal, a massive, massive boost for us and if Arsenal can score goals they've got less chance of conceding them."

Arsenal are also understood to be close to completing the signing of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United, to replace Bacary Sagna who has joined rivals Manchester City, but the remainder of Wenger's transfer activity is expected to surround the forward areas.

Despite winning the FA Cup and qualifying for the Champions League, striker Olivier Giroud was overworked through the campaign and a lack of genuine support eventually saw the club's Premier League title campaign fade during the closing months of the season.