The Gunners manager, Arsene Wenger to look at Saint Etienne captain Loic Perrin as he is in search for a centre-back.
His desire to quickly add more defensive cover comes amid ongoing concern regarding Laurent Koscielny’s ability to withstand playing regularly in three competitions this season due to an achilles tendon problem.
The French defender Koscielny returned to the team that beat West Ham United on Sunday and, although he may start against Southampton on New Year’s Day, Wenger also wants to reduce the responsibility on Calum Chambers as the main back-up.
With a current budget of £20 million, Wenger has been working specifically on his defensive targets and is hopeful of making an early transfer window addition.
Perrin is versatile in that he can play centre-back or as a defensive midfielder and, at around £6 million, would not put a huge dent in the transfer budget at a time when the majority of the best players in Europe are not available.
The Gunners have also watched both Winston Reid at West Ham and Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar but know that it will be extremely difficult to prise existing first-team regulars out of rival Premier League clubs in January.