Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Tuesday that he would be in the transfer market looking to bring in a central defender and according to The Independent he has expressed an interest in West Ham United centre-back Matthew Upson.
It is understood that the French boss ideally would be looking for a defender who would be interested in a loan move before deciding whether or not to further negotiate proceedings with Upson.
The West Ham man – sold by Wenger after failing to cement a starting spot as a youngster – is out of contract in the summer and has revealed that he is not interested in extending his stay at Upton Park. The England international is also likely not to accept anything less than a two year deal.
However, Wenger recently suggested that Arsenal were not in a position to spend big, and Upson could be a picked up on the cheap.
The Frenchman has conceded that he is under pressure to sign a defender who is already equipped to handle the pressure of playing in the Premier League so that he is ready to hit the ground running. This came after the news of another setback for Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen, who has been out since August.
The Gunners are also withouout French defender Sebastien Squillaci for a minimum of two weeks and with Arsenal competing in all three competitions both domestically and in Europe, the lack of cover at the back will be worrying for the manager.
The London club have been previously linked with moves for Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill and unsettled Blackburn Rovers man Christopher Samba, but Arsenal are unlikely to meet the valuation of either player.
The 31-year-old left the Gunners in 2003 after only playing 56 times over six seasons, but is known to be unhappy at West Ham with the club's current position and Avram Grant's stewardship of the side.
The Hammers are resigned to losing the defender in the summer and will not want him to leave in the midst of a relegation scrap.