Arsenal can complete the signing of Saint Etienne captain Loic Perrin this month if they offer a sum of around €10 million, according to French sources.
Newspaper Le 10 Sport claims that his current club are willing to listen to offers for the defender if they meet their expectations, despite the initial consensus being that they wanted to keep hold of arguably their most influential player.
Arsenal defensive reinforcements
Arsene Wenger is said to be on the hunt for a cheap option in the heart of the defence who can provide cover for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, and Perrin has been linked with the Emirates Stadium for some time now.
Le 10 states in its report that although nothing official has happened on the public front there is progress being made behind closed doors, making the idea of Perrin becoming Wenger’s successful candidate all the more feasible.
Wenger's Perrin gamble
The Gunners boss is well-known for his work with French players, and although Perrin doesn’t command the sort of pedigree other targets do, his recent form saw him called up to Didier Deschamps’s national squad.
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If the 29-year-old does move it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll become a permanent fixture within the Arsenal squad or merely a stopgap until Wenger can put out his feelers for someone better in the summer.
With Mertesacker’s recent performances having been called into question and Laurent Koscielny’s injury woes continuing this season, on top of ongoing issues in discerning if Wojciech Szczesny is the right No.1 for the club, Wenger is under pressure to improve his defensive third.
Improving the back line
Perrin may be a risky purchase as he’s never played outside of France, but at least his acquisition will prove that the Arsenal boss isn’t blind to the problems. The Gunners have looked extremely shaky when defending so far this term, casting the spotlight heavily on Wenger’s decision to let both Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna leave the team in the same window.
In any case reinforcements appear to be on the doorstep, with Perrin likely to be the first charged with restoring equilibrium. It’s believed a two-year deal could be on the table from Arsenal, although Saint Etienne will have to give their consent before any formal negotiations can take place.