Arsenal are desperate to bolster their backline following the injury to Rob Holding.
Arsenal have shortlisted three central defenders as they aim to bolster their backline which has been shaken right from the start of the season. It is understood that Unai Emery wants either one of Eric Bailly, Gary Cahill or Fernando Calero in the January transfer window.
The former Sevilla manager brought in the experienced Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the summer transfer window, but it has not cut down the leakage of goals at the back. Despite the availability of Laurent Koscielny, who is ready to feature against Qarabag on Thursday, Rob Holding’s long-term injury will force the Gunners to make a move in the winter window.
Eric Bailly has been part of the sinking ship under Jose Mourinho with Manchester United. The Ivorian has lost his place to Chris Smalling following a poor start to the campaign this term. He has started only 6 games in all competitions this campaign. The 24-year-old has been left out of the squad at times which will make the Manchester United defender review his options once the transfer window opens.
On the other hand, the Red Devils are hunting for a new center-back, and are keeping an eye on the Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld who looks to leave London once his contracts expire.
Chelsea Skipper Gary Cahill has not started a game in the Premier League but has been a regular face in the cup competitions by starting 4 games in the Europa League this season. Turkish giants Galatasaray were interested in securing the signature of the English International’s signature in the summer, but the time ran out at the end. Having lost his place and played only over 550 minutes of football this season, Gary Cahill will be looking to feature regularly in the Premier League.
Arsenal are down to Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi in the center-back department. Gary Cahill would make a good addition as a squad member for the Gunners.
Another member who makes the Unai Emery shortlist is his compatriot Fernando Calero who plays for Real Valladolid. The 24-year-old will be allowed to leave the Spanish club for a fee as low as 10 million euros in the January window. The center-back has been impressive at the back which has conceded 15 goals in 15 games for Real Valladolid.
His fitness cannot be brought into the question as he has completed 90 minutes on all 15 occasions he has featured this season. He has turned the heads of several scouts, and the Gunners must act swiftly should they land this defender.
The battle for the Champions League place is too high and the Arsenal manager knows that the club cannot afford to finish outside top four as he prepares to strengthen the backline in the winter transfer window.
Unai Emery started off to a disastrous start to the campaign by losing to Manchester City and Chelsea in the first two Premier League games, but they are in a roll with Twenty-one game unbeaten run at the moment. They prepare to take on Qarabag in the Europa League tie on Thursday, before taking on Southampton on Sunday in the Premier League.