Arsenal transfer news: Chris Smalling, Ron Vlaar and Virgil van Dijk to be discussed

Gunners in need of defensive reinforcements

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The Independent Online

January moves for Chris Smalling, Ron Vlaar and Virgil van Dijk will be discussed by Arsenal next week.

A lack of investment over the summer and injury problems have left Arsene Wenger short of options at the back and the Gunners are keen to address the situation when the transfer window next opens.

Experienced duo Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna left the club over the summer and were replaced with Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy respectively. The latter picked up a serious injury a month into the season whilst it is generally accepted that Chambers has been called upon more than Wenger had expected for a 19-year-old still finding his way.

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With Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, the club's only senior centre-backs, also having injury problems the situation has been exasperated.

According to reports, Arsenal scouts have been looking at possible options that will be discussed next week in a bid to plan a strategy for acquiring a target.

The Gunners discussed a move for Smalling over the summer when Vermaelen was linked with Old Trafford and could be tempted to return. The England international's red card in the Manchester derby was labelled "stupid" by Louis van Gaal, a public chastening that will give Arsenal hope that Manchester United will be willing to do business.

 

An unsuccessful £7m bid for Celtic’s Virgil van Dyke was made on transfer deadline day whilst in the case of Vlaar, Aston Villa could be tempted to agree a deal with the Netherlands international's contract expiring in the summer.

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