Gunners 'will buy' £5m out-of-favour African defender

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Arsenal are reportedly preparing a bid to sign Blackburn defender Chris Samba.

The Congolese international has sparked interest from a number of Premier League clubs after publicly declaring a desire to leave Ewood Park, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is one of the parties interested in the player.

National paper The Metro goes on to claim that the Gunners will buy the player this month, if Thomas Vermaelen fails to recover from a long-standing injury that has kept him out-of-action for the majority of the season thus far at the Emirates.

Arsenal are reportedly in the market for a defender, with the French boss looking to strengthen in the centre back position. Vermaelen's injury has left the north London club short in that area of the pitch, and Samba now appears to be the prime target.

Jan Vertonghen, Mamadou Sakho and Per Mertesacker are three other players linked with a move to the Gunners, but the former Hertha Berlin player is thought to appeal to the Arsenal boss due to his availability.

Whilst Rovers have denied that the player has made a transfer request, the exit of Sam Allardyce is thought to have the player upset and keen for a move away from the Lancashire outfit.

Chelsea, Fulham and Spurs are also thought to be keen, although various press outlets claim that Samba would prefer a move to Arsenal if the opportunity arose.

Whilst a fee is yet to be discussed, Arsenal are thought to have money to spend following the recent announcement of bumper profits in north London.

Wenger is notoriously frugal in the transfer market, and a discount deal for Samba would suit the Arsenal manager perfectly as they look to challenge on a number of fronts this season.

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