Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Jan Vertonghen after finally confirming their £11million deal for Cologne star, Lukas Podolski.
The Gunners announced one of the worst kept secrets in football on Monday, revealing the Germany star will join from Cologne ahead of next season.
And Arsenal are preparing for their next transfer splurge by taking steps to land central defender Vertonghen after opening talks with Ajax
Vertonghen is entering the final year of his contract and Arsenal feel they can land the 25-year-old for as little as £7m, despite interest from Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea.
Manager Arsene Wenger hopes Vertonghen will form part of a new-look defensive pool next season, with Sebastien Squillaci and Johan Djourou available for transfers away from the Emirates this summer.
Podolski's signing and the move to tie up an early deal for Vertonghen is a far cry from last summer when Wenger was forced into a flurry of late deals during the closing stages of the transfer window.