Arsene Wenger ready to abandon January transfer plans

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Arsene Wenger is ready to shelve plans overhaul his squad as Arsenal's current injury crisis looks set to improve, reports The Times.

The Gunners have had to shuffle every area of the squad so far this season with a number of key players missing for significant amounts of time already. While Jack Wilshere remains a long-term absentee, others are nearing returns.

Mesut Ozil (knee ligament damage) is back in full training while Mathieu Flamini (dead leg) and Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) could return to the squad for the weekend tie against Stoke City. Danny Welbeck (thigh) also has an outside chance and Olivier Giroud returns from suspension.

Easing storm

Mikel Arteta (calf) is still several weeks away from first team action, but Wenger is hopeful of having his club captain back before the end of the month. Should no new injuries be reported, only Wilshere will remain in the treatment room.

The easing storm has convinced the Arsenal boss to steer clear of short-term signings in the January transfer window. The same report suggests there could be an squad overhaul in the summer but a centre-back remains on the January hit list.

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Centre-back priority

Laurent Koscielny has been playing in recent games but his ongoing achilles problems will limit how many games the Frenchman can play. With Wenger admitting that Calum Chambers is facing burnout, a new defender is now the only priority for Arsenal this month.

A short-term option seems most viable but Wenger has shown reluctance to pay a premium for a player that will never sit in his long-term plans. A loan deal or a free transfer would be perfect, but few quality defenders are available on such terms.

Short-term options

Winston Reid has entered the last six months of his contract at West Ham and looks certain to leave. But with West Ham pushing for a place in Europe, Sam Allardyce is unlikely to sell for a fee under £4 million.

St Etienne captain Loic Perrin recently claimed that Arsenal had spoken to him regarding a potential transfer but no contact has been made with the Frenchman's club. Again, a loan deal for the 29-year-old, with a considerable loan fee, seems more possible than a permanent deal.

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