Former Arsenal defender linked with England return

Sheffield Wednesday are reportedly planning to boost their promotion hopes ahead of next season with a move for former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou.

The Switzerland international is a free agent following his release from German club Hamburg, and it is claimed that he is in constant contact with the Championship club, although manager Carlos Carvalhal has remained coy on the speculation.

However, Swiss outlet Blick claims that the Owls are weighing up a contract offer for the former Gunner and they are working hard to push through a deal with his representative. The Swiss centre-half came through the Gunners academy, and appeared in 140 outings for the north London giants before he was offloaded to Hamburg in the summer of 2013- initially on a season-long loan. Djourou held the captain's armband during his spell with the German outfit, but he decided to leave the club on a free earlier in May following a dispute with the club's hierarchy, which saw him make just three appearances in the second half of the season.

The Owls faced another playoff heartache last season after they were ousted by Huddersfield Town, who are now in the Premier League. Carvajal has come close to top-flight promotion in his two years with the Championship club, and he will hope to become third-time lucky with the potential arrival of Djourou, who has vast experience playing in the Premier League and Champion League with Arsenal.

The 30-year-old has also remained influential in the Switzerland national setup with 65 caps to date, and the country look in pole position to qualify for next year's World Cup, provided they manage to avoid a defeat against group favourites Portugal, who hold a superior goal difference.

Brighton & Hove Albion had to make several attempts from the playoffs in order to end their Premier League wait, and Sheffield Wednesday could take it as a motivation ahead of the Championship campaign which kick starts this weekend.