Arsenal transfer news: Saint Etienne captain Loic Perrin a target for Arsene Wenger - reports

Versatile 29-year-old can also play in defence

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger is reportedly interested in Saint Etienne captain Loic Perrin.

The French defender, 29, can also play in defensive midfield and at a price of around £6million would allow Wenger to chase other, bigger name defensive options.

The Arsenal manager has been given a transfer budget of £20m for the January window and is keen to strengthen his defensive options with the Gunners still in contention in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

With Laurent Koscielny unable to play every game because of an ongoing Achilles injury - Nacho Monreal had to start at centre-back against West Ham - Perrin is a viable back-up option, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Wenger is looking to lighten the load on teenage defender Calum Chambers, who has struggled at times and already played 29 games for club and country this season.

Arsenal are also interested in Winston Reid and Ron Vlaar but it will take more money to attract one of those two in January. Ipswich youngster Tyrone Mings is another option but Wenger also needs experienced cover.

Saint Etienne are currently fourth in Ligue 1, five points behind leaders Marseille at the midway point. Perrin has spent his whole career with the club, playing more than 300 matches in all competitions.

The former France Under-21 international, who was named in Didier Deschamps' provisional World Cup squad but didn't make the final 23, is a strong one-one-one defender, has reasonable speed and although hr stands at just 5ft 9in, is decent in the air.

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