Arsenal line up shock swoop for Vermaelen replacement

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Arsenal are set to bid for Richard Dunne in order to fill the continuing void left by Thomas Vermaelen, reports the Daily Mail.

The Belgian centre-back will undergo minor surgery on his troublesome Achilles today and - with the Arsenal defence looking increasingly threadbare - reinforcements are expected to be made this month.

Arsenal are expected to add at least one centre-back to their ranks during the transfer window after injury to Sebastien Squillaci left them with just two fit recognised centre-backs in Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou.

A move for Dunne - who has apparently fallen out of favour at Aston Villa - would certainly meet the criteria of Arsene Wenger after he outlined the type of defender he wanted to bring to Arsenal.

“Ideally it would be better if they were adapted to English football,” said the Arsenal boss. “If you need players now in January then you cannot wait three months before they can play. If the opportunity turns up we will fetch it but, if not, I believe we can cope.

“We always have people in mind and we check them out. We look everywhere. It’s difficult to find [them] at this period of the season but overall I feel at the moment we have so many games that it’s very important just to focus on the next one."

Arsenal have also been linked with moves for Ajax ace Jan Vertonghen and Bosnia captain Emir Spahic in their quest for fresh blood.

However, should Arsenal fail to bring in bring in any central defenders, then Wenger believes Alex Song would make a capable temporary centre-half.

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