Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is desperate to beat Chelsea and Real Madrid to the signing of Juventus right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner by convincing the Switzerland international to put pen to paper on a deal to join the Gunners.
Lichtsteiner is out of contract at the end of the season and will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with any interested club in January. However, Arsenal are prepared to offer Juventus a cut-price fee for the 30-year-old in order to land him in the New Year, according to the Express.
And Juventus, while they would prefer to keep Lichtsteiner in Turin, may reluctantly agree to sell the full-back rather than lose him for nothing at the end of the season.
Mathieu Debuchy injury
Arsenal lost right-back Bacary Sagna to Manchester City at the end of last season, but replaced him with France international Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United in a deal worth £12 million.
However, the 29-year-old full-back was ruled out for three months in September after falling and damaging his ankle ligaments in a match against Manchester City. He subsequently underwent surgery on the injury and is expected to return to action in January.
- Chelsea plotting £6.5m bid for Lichtsteiner
- Lichtsteiner rejects Juventus extension offer
- Arsenal to scout Stephan Lichtsteiner
The inexperienced Calum Chambers has been deputising for Debuchy over the past few weeks, but Wenger regards the 19-year-old as a long-term centre-back rather than a right-back. His performances so far this season, though, have been largely impressive.
However, Lichtsteiner has been one of Europe's best right-backs over the past five years and would bring class and experience to the Arsenal back-line. The Swiss star has played a key role in Juve winning three consecutive Serie A titles.
Chelsea and Real Madrid keen
Chelsea and Real Madrid, while keen on Lichtsteiner, would prefer to secure his services free of charge at the end of the season, rather than paying a transfer fee beforehand.
Both clubs already possess decent options in the right-back position. Chelsea have Branislav Ivanovic, while Real Madrid have Dani Carvajal - who was excellent against Barcelona in the Clasico on Saturday - and Alvaro Arbeloa.
Juventus, meanwhile, are expected to replace Lichtsteiner - if he decides to leave the club - with Udinese's Silvan Widmer.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms