Premier League

Arsenal 'step up Williams hunt'

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Thu, 11 Jul 2013 17:01:00

Real Sociedad have signed Switzerland international Haris Seferovic from Fiorentina.

The 21-year-old striker took his medical with Sociedad on Thursday morning before penning a four-year contract with the Primera Division outfit.

A club statement read: "Real Sociedad have reached an agreement with Fiorentina for the signing of striker Haris Seferovic. The club have also finalised an agreement with the Swiss international for his incorporation into our team until June 30, 2017.

"Seferovic will return to his country today to resolve personal matters and will be officially presented by the club at the start of next week."

Seferovic, who becomes Sociedad's second summer signing after the return of Jose Angel on loan, joined Fiorentina from Grasshoppers in 2010 and has spent loan spells at Neuchatel Xamax, Lecce and Novara in the last three years.

Sociedad finished fourth in the Primera Division last season after leapfrogging above Valencia on the final day. Coach Philippe Montanier left at the end of the campaign with his assistant Jagoba Arrasate being promoted to take his place on the bench.

Vermaelen's back injury has forced Arsene Wenger into seeking defensive replacements - with the Belgian sidelined for an indefinite period - and Swansea's Williams is at the top of his wanted list.

The defender has long been on Arsenal's radar, but their interest previously cooled due to Swansea's asking price.

However, Wenger could now be forced to push through a move for Williams amid fears that Vermaelen faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Vermaelen has been ruled out of the club's pre-season tour of Asia because of injury and it seems likely he will miss the start of the new Premier League.

Arsenal are short of options at the back with Sebastien Squillaci being released earlier this summer and Johan Djourou moving to Hamburg on loan.

It means Wenger could start the season with just two recognised central defenders in the shape of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Williams is thought to be Arsenal's top target to bring in a new defender with Wenger keen to have four central defenders in his squad ahead of the new season.

Wales captain Williams has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the country after two stand-out seasons in the Premier League with Swansea.

Swansea are bracing themselves for bid for Williams with the 28-year-old expected to jump at the chance of a switch to the Emirates Stadium and the chance to play in the Champions League.

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