Arsenal were reportedly in talks with Werder Bremen over the signing of Germany defender Per Mertesacker on Tuesday.

The Gunners were also understood to be close to concluding a deal for Brazil left-back Andre Santos as they sought to revamp their defence following Sunday's humiliating 8-2 defeat at Manchester United.

The double signing would be music to the ears of Arsenal fans, who have long urged manager Arsene Wenger to strengthen a rearguard that has, at times, been left woefully exposed in the past year.

Mertesacker, 26, would also provide much-needed height and experience at the back, standing at 6ft 6in and boasting 75 international caps.

Arsenal have also agreed a fee with Turkish giants Fenerbahce - reportedly £6.2million - for Santos with the move subject to a medical and personal terms being agreed.

The 28-year-old would help fill the void left by the sale of Gael Clichy to Manchester City and the likely departure of Armand Traore to QPR.

South Korea captain Park Chu-Young was expected to complete his move from Monaco later on Tuesday, while the Gunners have been linked with a host of other names ahead of Wednesday's transfer deadline, including Chelsea trio Florent Malouda, Alex and Yossi Benayoun.

They also last week saw a bid rejected for Bolton's Gary Cahill, a pursuit they may well abandon should a deal for Mertesacker be concluded.