Speculation in the English press has consistently linked Arsenal with a long list of defenders, as manager Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his options in this long-standing problem position.
One name that has continuously been mentioned is Montpellier centre half Emir Spahic, and the Bosnian national captain has reportedly made a verbal agreement with Wenger which will see him move to the Emirates stadium at the end of the current season reports FootyLatest.com.
Spahic was the subject of a January bid from Aston Villa, with Gerard Houllier a known admirer of the 30-year-old stopper, having tracked him while he was back working in France for the French Football Federation.
A deal to bring the player to Villa Park was close but fell through at the last minute after failure to agree personal terms as well as negotiating a more reasonable fee than the £25m price tag that Montpellier chiefs initially slapped on the central defender.
Over his career Spahic has played for various Croatian, Russian and French clubs including Lokomotiv Moscow.
He also has 45 caps for the Bosnian national team which is something that both Arsenal and Aston Villa will value in their pursuit for added strength and leadership in their respective backlines.
While Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou have played well together for Arsenal this season there is not much depth in the Gunners squad after the long-term injury to Thomas Vermaelen.
Summer signing Sebastien Squillaci’s ability has been called into question on a number of occasions, so his Emirates career could be short lived.
Aston Villa on the other hand are in somewhat of a transition period, and upon Houllier’s arrival tried to blood a number of up and coming youth prospects, but after a series of bad results Villa had to call on the more experienced members of their squad in order to steer them away from trouble.
Spahic would fit nicely into either set-up, but it appears that Arsenal now have the edge over Aston Villa when negotiations can pick up again once the transfer window reopens in the summer.