Report: Arsenal step up Ashley Williams pursuit

Wales' Ashley Williams celebrates the win over Scotland on March 22, 2013
© PA Photos
Arsenal will reportedly again try to sign Ashley Williams after Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out of their pre-season tour with a back injury.

Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their interest in Swansea City defender Ashley Williams following the news that Thomas Vermaelen could miss the start of the season.

The Wales captain has been linked with a move to the Gunners all summer, but a deal has looked in doubt as the North Londoners seem unwilling to meet the Swans' £10m valuation of the player.

However, Arsene Wenger could bite the bullet and be prepared to pay the extra money following news that Vermaelen may miss the opening of the new campaign.

The Belgian has been struggling with a persistent back problem, and the centre-back has not travelled on the club's pre-season tour of Asia.

It is unclear as to how long Arsenal may be without Vermaelen, with rumours that he could miss as much as three months of action, according to the Daily Mail.

The injury to the 27-year-old leaves Wenger with just Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as the side's recognised centre-backs, which could force the club to move for Williams.

Thomas Vermaelen
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