Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to get a new centre-back at the Emirates Stadium early in the January transfer window, with Saint Etienne’s Loic Perrin the target, the
The Gunners are said to have a kitty of £20m with which to operate and the desire to sign Perrin is motivated by concerns over the fitness of Laurent Koscielny and the readiness of Calum Chambers. Koscielny, it’s felt, struggles to play three games in a week due to an Achilles injury, while Chambers is burdened by having to step in for his more experienced teammate.
Perrin is comfortable in defence or midfield and a fee of £6m has been mooted, while he would also be eligible to play for Arsenal in the Champions League. Winston Reid and Ron Vlaar, of West Ham and Aston Villa respectively, have also been considered but it’s not thought the Premier League teams would be willing to sell to a club in the same division.
Wenger has looked at less experienced options than Perrin but wants a player who can fit straight in and not need time to get to grips with playing regularly at a high level. Virgil van Dijk, of Celtic, and Ipswich’s Tyrone Mings, have been looked at and dismissed – for now – on that basis.
Arsenal are currently fifth in the table, level on points with Southampton, who hold the final Champions League qualification place. The sides meet at St. Mary’s on New Year’s Day and Arsenal will be without both the injured Aaron Ramsey and the suspended Olivier Giroud.
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