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Arsenal enter the hunt to sign £54m-rated star amid concerns over Laurent Koscielny snub

Arsenal have revived their interest in signing defender Ruben Dias from Benfica this summer amid concerns that Laurent Koscielny could head through the exit door, a report from The Mail claims.

Koscielny has been an influential figure at the heart of the club’s defence over the past nine seasons, but he has recently refused to travel with his teammates for the pre-season tour with the view to pursuing a fresh challenge elsewhere.

Amidst this, the Gunners are understood to be lining up a potential replacement and The Mail claims that Dias has re-emerged as a transfer target for the north London side.

It is added that the club had compiled a scouting report on the centre-back earlier in the summer, but they were put off by the £54m release clause present on the player’s contract.

With Koscielny’s future under doubt, the Gunners seem open to making a move for Dias despite knowing that Benfica won’t accept anything less than the Portuguese’s release clause.

Still, the move remains far from straightforward with the club’s restricted £45m pre-sales budget, and they would have to convince Benfica to accept staggered payments over a period of time.

The central defence has been a problematic position for the Gunners over the years and last season was no exception with 51 goals conceded in the Premier League alone.

Despite this, the club have not sealed any new signing to reinforce the department and this has now brought up a genuine concern with Koscielny wanting to part ways with the side.

Saint-Etienne’s William Saliba has been the only solid target for the club this summer, but they are yet to finalise a transfer agreement, given the fresh interest in the player from cross-town rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Even if they succeed in landing the Frenchman, he may not necessarily bolster the central defensive ranks for next season, considering Saint-Etienne are expected to keep him on loan for another 12 months.

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