Arsenal on verge of capturing Blackburn centre-back Christopher Samba

Arsene Wenger closes in on his first major signing of the summer

Arsenal are closing in on their second signing of the summer with the �12 million capture of Blackburn Rovers centre-back Christopher Samba.

Twenty-seven year old Samba was a target for the Gunners during the January transfer window, and Arsene Wenger is expected to re-open talks with the Lancashire club this week as he attempts to further strengthen his under-fire defence.

Wenger is intent on building a partnership between 6ft 4in Samba and Thomas Vermaelen, as Arsenal seek to end their long trophy drought next season.

He has already moved to bolster Arsenal’s backline with the addition of highly-rated Finnish Under-21 star Carl Jenkinson last Wednesday.

But the Arsenal boss missed out on another target, with Phil Jones turning down a move to the Emirates to agree a move to Premier League champions Manchester United after the Under-21 European Championship.

Wenger is known to be a huge admirer of Congo international Samba, who would add power and muscle to a defence which was too often lightweight last season.