Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to splash the cash on Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk and Celtic forward Mousa Dembele as he looks to start life without Alexis Sanchez, according to a report on Calciomercato.

Wenger is keen to hold on to Chilean forward Sanchez but the player himself is likely to force a move with Arsenal expecting to get £50m for him this summer instead of losing him for free next season when his contract expires.

The Frenchman does not want to sell to a direct Premier League rival but it seems that Manchester City are in pole position to sign Sanchez, with French club Paris Saint Germain also lining up a move.

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And Wenger has already lined up a replacement for him by targeting 20-year-old Dembele who scored a whopping 32 goals last season for Celtic.

The striker will cost the North London club about £30m and should Wenger make a move for the player he may be open to a transfer. Dembele has also been linked with Chelsea this summer.

The Gunners are also chasing Liverpool target Van Dijk to strengthen their defence for the upcoming season as they look to challenge for the Premier League title.

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Van Dijk has been holding talks with Liverpool for some time but the Merseyside club have struggled to agree a fee which has prompted Wenger to consider hijacking the deal.