Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger handed £20m budget to solve defensive crisis - reports

Gunners have just six senior defenders in the first-team squad

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger is to be given £20million to spend on a defender in January, according to reports.

The Arsenal manager has just four fit senior defenders in his first-team squad after Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy both went down with injury. Teenage defender Hector Bellerin has made just four appearances despite the injury problems.

Wenger, who has been linked with a move for Dani Alves and Pedro, will also get £20m to spend on a centre-back, according to the Daily Mail.

Nacho Monreal has been playing in the middle in recent weeks, with Calum Chambers, who has already played 20 games for Arsenal and England this season, at right-back.

The pair were poor in the embarrassing draw to Anderlecht and the defeat to Swansea, while Wenger himself has been criticised for his tactics and inability to properly assemble a squad in the summer.

While Debuchy and Chambers arrived, Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen left, as did another defender, Carl Jenkinson, on loan to West Ham. Jenkinson has started the last five matches for Sam Allardyce's Hammers, a run in which the team have won three and drawn two, picking up 11 points and conceding just four goals.

The paper reports that Wenger will discuss his options with club scouts this week, with Celtic's Virgil van Dijk, West Ham's Winston Reid, Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar and Chris Smalling of Manchester United suggested targets.