Arsenal are still interested in signing a defensive midfielder in the January transfer window and are considering a move for Sporting star William Carvalho.
The Portugal international has also been heavily linked with Manchester United, but the report in Portuguese newspaper A Bola claims that Arsenal's interest in the 22-year-old midfielder has kicked up a notch in recent weeks.
Former-Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires was quoted in the press earlier this week saying that the Gunners lacked a player in the 'mould of Patrick Vieira.'
Arsene Wenger was linked with several defensive midfielders, including the €45m-rated Carvalho, during the summer transfer window but ended up spending the majority of his budget on Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck, two attackers, and former-Southampton defender Calum Chambers.
Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender and Real Madrid's Sami Khedira were both believed to be targets for the Gunners, who were left exposed in big games last season with Mikel Arteta overmatched in an unfamiliar holding role.
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Mathieu Flamini has filled a gap in the Arsenal squad, but he's not a long-term solution to a problem that has plagued Wenger's side since the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona in 2012.
As for Manchester United, Louis van Gaal was also reportedly on the lookout for midfield reinforcements over the summer. He signed the technically talented Ander Herrera and the versatile Daley Blind but United still lack a muscular presence in midfield.
Marouane Fellaini is viewed as more effective higher up the pitch, in a role similar to his Everton days, and proved successful in the position against West Brom in the Premier League.
Premier League action
Manchester United play Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday while Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.