Arsenal boss Wenger to get winter transfer kitty

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be given some £20m to spend in January in order to solve the club’s defensive woes, the Daily Mail has reported.

It’s expected that a central defender will be top of Wenger’s agenda as while he acknowledges the Gunners also need some midfield steel, he will wait until the summer – when his budget will be greater – before moving in that direction.

Arsenal have had to use left-back Nacho Monreal as an emergency centre-back in recent weeks in partnership with Per Mertesacker as Laurent Koscielny is out injured and Calum Chambers is needed at right-back to deputise for the stricken Mathieu Debuchy.

Wenger allowed Thomas Vermaelen to leave the Emirates Stadium over the summer, the Belgium international moving to Barcelona, which has further depleted the ranks, although Vermaelen has yet to debut for the Catalans due to his own series of injury problems.

The likes of Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, West Ham’s Winston Reid and Ron Vlaar, Aston Villa’s Netherlands international, have all been considered by Wenger in the past. Reid and Vlaar could be available at a cut-price as their respective contracts end in summer 2015.

Arsenal have conceded 13 times in 11 Premier League games this season, more than four of the five teams about them in the table and almost three times as many goals as second-place Southampton, whose defence has been breached on five occasions.

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