Arsenal will be seeking to sign central midfielders during the January transfer window, despite other areas having appeared more in need of reinforcements this season.
It's emerged that Arsene Wenger is concerned by the number of injuries suffered by his central midfield players, with Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere among those to have been out this term.
Speaking ahead of the window opening up, Wenger confirmed the Gunners are ready to make signings over the next month, however would only do so if the deal "was right" and perhaps not in the areas expected.
"If you look at the number of games some players played and the injuries we have with Wilshere, Ramsey and Arteta, we are a bit short at the moment in midfield," Wenger said when asked about where he wants to strengthen.
"There is a need there [to enter the market] but the right opportunity has to come up. To buy, simply to buy, is not what we want to do but if the right opportunity comes up, we will do it."
As well as problems in midfield, injuries have exposed a defence that Wenger failed to significantly reinforce during the summer despite the departure of captain Thomas Vermaelen. Injuries to Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Debuchy this season and suspensions for Calum Chambers have seen Wenger having to patch up his defence with left-back Nacho Monreal being called upon to play at centre-back in some games. Mats Hummels has been among those linked.
A serious injury to striker Olivier Giroud, who has now returned, also showed the lack of strength in depth in the strike department despite the signing of Danny Welbeck over the summer. Lukas Podolski continues to be linked with a move away and there has been speculation Arsenal would move for a new forward with Edinson Cavani regularly mentioned.
If Wenger moves for a midfielder in January, William Carvalho could be an option.
The Gunner are ready to return to Sporting Lisbon with an offer of £20m according to recent reports, despite having failed to land the holding midfielder in the summer.
Talks between Arsenal and the Portuguese side were held again in the Autumn but broke down.
It's reported that Wenger has renewed hope of landing the 22-year-old Portugal international due to Sporting Lisbon's elimination from the Champions League at the group stage. The lack of top-tier European football in the second-half of the season could see Sporting open up to serious negotiation.
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