Arsene Wenger may be facing a defensive crisis at Arsenal but that has not stopped him actively seeking to send Calum Chambers out on loan for the season.
According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have informed clubs around Europe that the 21-year-old is available despite the fact that he is one of only three fit centre-backs at the Emirates.
It is another significant setback for the former Southampton starlet, who arrived at the club two summers ago with plenty of expectation attached to his shoulders. He cost £16m to sign but has so far failed to justify that significant outlay.
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Chambers struggled against the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in Arsenal's 4-3 reverse against Liverpool and was benched in favour of Rob Holding for the next game against Leicester.
As Holding is both younger and less experienced than Chambers, it was a clear sign that first-team football is going to be hard to come by this season and possibly for the foreseeable future.
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But Wenger still has hope for the once senior England international and is not willing to sell him on a permanent basis. That stance may change if someone offers to refund them their entire £16m outlay with Chelsea and Liverpool both thought to hold a long-term interest, but for now a loan deal looks much more likely.
West Brom, Hull, Stoke and Sunderland are all thought to be interested but any offer would have to come with a guarantee of first-team involvement.
Even that will come as a surprise to most Arsenal fans, who have been waiting in hope for Wenger to spend some of his transfer budget on increasing his options in defence. A deal for Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi appears dead in the water while interest in Manchester United's Phil Jones seems nothing but a waste of time.
The biggest waste of time, however, is surely trying to get your current centre-backs out of the club. With only a week to go in the transfer market, most pundits expected Wenger to be panic buying rather than trimming his squad.
But there is every chance Arsenal have offered Chambers out on loan on the proviso that a more experienced centre-back is coming the other way. If Wenger fails to do that, he would surely opt to keep Chambers at the club, even if it does harm his chances of fulfilling his potential.
It is just a shame for the Gunners that their transfer plans have, once again, been rumbled by a well-connected journalist before they could make significant progress, leaving Wenger facing the wrath of fans already fed up with the situation.
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