By 90Min
March 21, 2018

Arsenal have been told the fee they will need to pay in order to sign a replacement for retiring defender Per Mertesacker this summer.

The Gunners have sent scouts to cast an eye over Benfica defender Rúben Dias at Estadio da Luz, and Portuguese outlet Record (via Sport Witness) report that Arsenal would be required to pay €40m (£35m) to secure the youngster's services.

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That would be a higher fee than the €35m they received from Manchester United for Swedish defender Victor Lindelof last summer. That indicates how highly-rated 20-year-old Dias is by the hierarchy at Benfica.

Dias, who stands at 6ft 1in, has made 19 appearances for Benfica this season, having graduated through the club's well-renowned youth academy. He received his first call-up to the senior Portugal side earlier this month, however was forced to withdraw due to an ankle sprain.

The 20-year-old is viewed by Arsenal as the perfect replacement for defender Per Mertesacker, who is set to retire at the end of this season and become the club's new Academy Manager. They have extra reason to reinforce their defensive line, as Laurent Koscielny turns 33 at the start of next season and has been plagued by injury troubles of late.

Former Borussia Dortmund recruitment chief, Sven Mislintat, joined the Gunners as Head of Recruitment last summer. The German has had a growing influence on Arsenal's signings since his arrival, using his knowledge of the German market to bring former Dortmund stars Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to north London.

Arsenal fans will be received to see the club looking at young, exciting central defensive talent. Something that the Gunners have lacked for quite some time.

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