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Arsenal step up talks to sign Ryan Bertrand on a free transfer from Southampton


Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Ryan Bertrand (Getty)

Arsenal have increased their efforts to sign Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand on a free transfer, according to reports.

The Gunners are in the market to sign cover for Kieran Tierney this summer as the left-back position has provided a problem for Mikel Arteta this season.

After allowing Sead Kolasinac to leave the club on loan in the January transfer window, an injury to Tierney meant that Arteta has been forced to play Granit Xhaka in that role.

According to MailOnline, Arsenal are looking to sign a replacement left-back for Kolasinac and are targeting a move for Bertrand.

The 31-year-old’s contract with Southampton expires at the end of the season, which means he will be available for the Gunners on a free transfer.

And the report claims that Arsenal have now ‘intensified’ their negotiations to secure a deal for Bertrand ahead of the summer window.

Ryan Bertrand will be available on a free transfer this summer (Getty)

Earlier this week, Bertrand confirmed that he will definitely be leaving Southampton when his contract expires at the end of June.

Southampton said in a statement: ‘Whilst that time will always be fondly remembered, the club and Ryan have agreed that now is the time to respectfully part ways and move forward on different paths.’

Bertrand, meanwhile, denied reports which claimed he had already agreed a move elsewhere.

‘After many months of hard decision making, I have decided to leave Southampton Football Club,’ said the 31-year-old defender.

‘This has only been decided in the last 48 hours and comments that I had not accepted an offer previously are not true.

‘This has been a difficult decision for me, but the time has come for me to seek a new challenge and find a new home that allows me the freedom to play and maximise my contribution to the team.’

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