Arsenal are ready to make an official move for West Ham United defender Winston Reid as the player approaches the end of his contract, reports The Mirror.
Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that he intends to strengthen his defence when the transfer window opens in January and West Ham looks likely to be his first port of call. Although there are a number of targets on Wenger's shortlist, Reid looks to be one of the more likely candidates.
The Arsenal manager has continued to send scouts to check in on the New Zealand international in recent weeks. With Reid about to enter the last six months of his contract at Upton Park, interest is starting to gather.
Premier League interest
Reid, 26, has not only attracted interest from the Emirates Stadium. The likes of Liverpool and Manchester United have also been linked with a move since the start of the season. Louis van Gaal has, in particular, been struggling with a lack of options in defence thus far and saw Reid as a cheap option to boost numbers.
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans have all succumb to injury already this season, leaving Van Gaal with no choice but to play youngsters Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair.
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Similarly, Arsenal have also struggled with defensive cover this season. Laurent Koscielny has been struck down by a chronic Achilles tendon injury while Mathieu Debuchy also suffered ankle ligament damage.
With Kieran Gibbs out with a hip injury, Arsenal could have only three recognised defenders for the visit of Burnley next week.
Should Koscielny's problems prove long-term as suspected, a defender would need to be brought in to cover. As West Ham are struggling to agree a new deal with Reid, the Hammers may opt to sell him on the cheap in the January transfer window.
Should Sam Allardyce refuse to negotiate with Wenger, the Frenchman may decide to turn to Celtic defender Virgil Van Dijk who is rated at £8 million. The Dutch international was subject to a late bid from Arsenal in the summer, but the move fell through.