Arsene Wenger is ready to resolve his defensive injury crisis by making a move for Barcelona star Eric Abidal in this month's transfer window.
The 32-year-old French international is entering the final six months of his contract with the La Liga giants, and is free to talk to clubs outside of Spain.
GiveMeFootball puts the full-back under the microscope to assess whether or not he would be a good January acquisition for Arsenal.
Abidal has been a consistent presence at the back for Barcelona this season, filling in for Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, who have both had spells out injured.
Regarded as something of a cult hero at Camp Nou, the versatile defender had an operation to remove a liver tumour last March, but has since made a full recovery.
After helping the Catalan club to win another European Cup last season, with victory over Manchester United at Wembley, Abidal's success both domestically and in Europe would prove invaluable to Wenger's young Gunners squad.
Having also been capped 60 times by his country, featuring at two World Cup finals and Euro 2008, the Frenchman would bring much needed experience to Arsenal's group of aspiring young stars.
His versatility to play right across the back four is another attractive attribute, and the fact that Abidal is available for a nominal fee, means that the club will not have to break the bank to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
At 32, Abidal is by no means a 'spring chicken' and any potential move would have to be regarded as a short-term fix for Arsenal's defensive frailties.
However, despite his advancing years he would probably be able to continue playing and contributing at an acceptable standard for at least another three years.
Barcelona are keen to keep Abidal in Spain and are believed to have offered him a two-year contract, but after talks over a new deal have seemingly stalled, the question remains how much money the Frenchman is demanding, and secondly whether or not Arsenal could afford his wage demands.
A return to France has been touted for the former Lyon man, and with AC Milan ready to offer Abidal a three-year deal at the San Siro, Arsenal will likely face stiff competition for his signature, before even considering the rival interest from the Barclays Premier League.
If Arsenal are to sign Abidal in January, then they must act quickly. A fee of around £4.1million is the figure being mooted - a modest valuation for a player of his calibre.
With Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos all still sidelined, Wenger would be foolish not to give serious consideration to strengthening his defensive department with the headline signing of a current Barcelona star.
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