Arsenal are preparing a cut-price bid for FC Basel defender Fabian Schar in January, and will go head-to-head with north London rivals Tottenham for the highly-rated Swiss star's signature.
The Daily Star on Sunday reports that the 22-year-old centre-back will be available at a knockdown price when the transfer window reopens after entering the final 12 months of his contract at St. Jakob-Park.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is eager to strengthen his defensive ranks at the Emirates Stadium, and will try to lure the Switzerland international to the Premier League at the turn of the year.
The Swiss Super League outfit had been hoping to negotiate an extension with the £10 million-rated player, who starred for his country at the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
However, Paulo Sousa is now reportedly resigned to the fact that Schar will leave Basel, with England's top-flight believed to be his favoured destination.
Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan have both been mooted as admirers of the talented stopper, who just four years ago was working as a bank clerk in his homeland.
Spurs have kept closest tabs on the defender so far this season with sporting director Franco Baldini running the rule over Schar during Basel's Champions League encounter with Real Madrid last week.
But, a potential move to White Hart Lane has now been placed in jeopardy, after Arsenal emerged as contenders for the want-away star's services.