Arsenal: Arsene Wenger in Shock Move for Barcelona Star

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger at Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden, August 7. Wenger has reportedly turned to Barcelona to solve his defensive problems. Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty

Arsenal's lack of defensive cover has seen Arsene Wenger make an inquiry over the availability of Barcelona center-back Jeremy Mathieu, according to reports.

Wenger's defense is severely depleted heading into the opening game of the Premier League season against Liverpool on Sunday.

Per Mertesacker and Gabriel are out with long-term injuries, while Laurent Koscielny is a doubt, leaving Wenger searching for additions to his squad.

According to French television channel SFR Sport, Arsenal has already made an approach for 32-year-old Mathieu.

But the club is also believed to be close to signing German defender Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia for a fee believed to be around £20 million ($26 million).