Experienced defender on his way to Emirates as 1st January signing

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Arsenal are apparently the favourites to sign Gary Cahill when the January transfer window opens.

Arsenal are facing something of a defensive crisis and they have been linked with a move for Chelsea’s 33-year-old for a few months now.

Cahill is out of contract in the summer and, after only featuring in the Premier League once for Chelsea this season, has been told he can leave the club.

The most recent article on this story comes from The Sun who quote Alex Apati from Ladbrokes as their source. He says, “It’s a deal that would suit all parties.

“As we edge closer to the winter transfer window, it’s looking increasingly likely Cahill will end up an Arsenal player.”

However, it’s worth noting that he is simply reacting to the odds. I doubt he has any insider knowledge.

Unai Emery favours three centrebacks, which wouldn’t be a problem if Arsenal had no injury problems in that area. Rob Holding, as you know, is out for the season while Laurent Koscielny only made his season bow against Qarabag recently.

Unlike Arsene Wenger, Emery is not keen on playing either Nacho Monreal or Stephan Lichsteiner out of position so the club are expected to dip into the market when it opens next month.

Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, Real Valladolid’s Fernando Calero and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill are all said to be on a shortlist the club are compiling.

Arsenal, of course, tried to sign Cahill when he was at Bolton but it remains to be seen if Chelsea would sell to a rival.

In 2011, then-Bolton manager, Owen Coyle, described Arsenal’s £7m bid for Cahill as ‘derisory’.

“There was a conversation between [the Bolton chairman] Phil Gartside and a representative of Arsenal,” Coyle said.

“I’m only passing this on as a third party, but the word derisory doesn’t even cover it. When I make an offer for a player, I’d like to think in the right ballpark, but this wasn’t even close.”

Bolton then sold Cahill to Chelsea for £7.54m which, if you ask me, seems very much in the same ballpark as £7m, what with them starting with the same number.

Emery quotes

“I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think if we can take one player to help us at centreback, it’s a good option,” Emery told reporters ahead of the game against Qarabag. “In the transfer market, it is not easy.

“Koscielny coming back is very important for the team and we are going to wait to see how Konstantinos Mavropanos is improving with his injuries.

“Nacho Monreal can play in this position. But I prefer to use, if we can, specific centre-backs in this position.

“We are going to give players chances to take responsibility against Qarabag. We are going to play four matches in the next 10 days. They are all important.”


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