Arsenal raid on Chelsea defender predicted

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Former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle believes Brazilian defender Alex could be the solution to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger's defender problems.

The 29-year-old former Santos starlet appears destined for the exit door at Stamford Bridge, with manager Andre Villas-Boas set to allow the centre back a way out of west London in 2012.

Hoddle believes that could be a mistake by the Blues boss though, and believes the Gunners could capitalise with a move for the player in January.

"He's done very well, a very solid defender. The fact that he's let him go, and lost him from the dressing room is a big mistake for me," said the former Chelsea player-manager.

"I think you always need players and you have to keep them on board because you don't know when your going to need them and he needs them over this period, and I can see Chelsea trying to strengthen in the position.

"I could see Arsenal being interested in Alex, because that's how good a player he is."

Wenger spent big in the summer transfer window strengthening his defence, with Per Mertesacker moving to north London from Werder Bremen.

However, the jury remains out on the German international, with Arsenal fans unsure as the whether the giant centre back in the long-term solution to the club's problem in the position.

It's unclear if the Arsenal manager has an interest in Alex at the current time, although reports at the start of the month in the Daily Mail claimed the player was on the radar.

As for Chelsea, they have already begun their search to strengthen in the position, with discussions over a move for Gary Cahill already taking place ahead of the New Year.

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