The lack of defensive cover has been the main talking point this season for Arsenal, and with injuries to Debuchy and Koscielny our season has been damaged, perhaps irreparably.
Now all Wenger can do is sign some defensive cover in January and hope that things start to go his way. These three defenders are reportedly on the market and thus prime targets for us.
First off is out of favour Manchester City player Matija Nastasic. The Serbian has found himself frozen out at the Etihad this season and was in fact told he could leave over the summer. However, City’s steep asking price and the refusal of the defender to accept a pay cut prevented any move from materialising.
However, City have now offered him to Arsenal and Tottenham in the January transfer window for a cut-price €6.3 million, according to Goal.
Nastasic has not even been named as a substitute in any of City’s matches this season since playing in the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal in August. He is certainly going to leave soon and Arsenal could capitalise on that. However, Wenger prefers West Ham’s Winston Reid over the Serbian, so this move seems unlikely.
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According to reports in the Metro, Arsenal are going to renew their interest in United defender Chris Smalling. The England international has been a long-term target for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger – who is desperate to add another defender in the new year. Wenger tried to sign the player over the summer as well, but was rebuffed.
But amid talk that Smalling has been told he can leave Old Trafford, reports say Arsenal are set to begin talks over a switch. United rate the 24-year-old at about £10 million; a price which would be attractive to Wenger given that Smalling can prove cover at centre back, right-back and even in midfield.
If LvG is really willing to let the Englishman leave then this could be a good buy.
Meanwhile in news from Spain, reports suggest that Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is open to the sale of French defender Raphael Varane in the winter window, having handed the defender just three La Liga starts.
Premier League pair Chelsea and Manchester United were both linked with a move for Varane over the summer, and are now set to renew their interest in January. Arsenal could also declare their interest, since Wenger has a known affinity for French players.
Real are reportedly open to offers in the region of £19m. Right now, the Blues are in pole position to land the 21-year-old, with boss Jose Mourinho having previously bought him during his time in charge of Madrid.