Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to turn his attention to a last-ditch £3m deal for West Ham United defender Winston Reid, as the search for quality at centre-back gets more and more desperate.
All eyes are on the Gunners' London Colney training ground tonight as Arsenal fans desperately wait for updates on the chase for a new star striker, but Wenger is believed to be more confident that he can sign a defender before the window slams shut at 11pm.
Hammers star Reid is on a shortlist of targets Arsenal chiefs are frantically chasing and the Express believe he's a more realistic addition than Matija Nastasic or Ron Vlaar, who are also under consideration even at this late stage.
Does Reid fit the bill?
There's no question that the Gunners have needed to sign a new centre-back for the last six weeks, after sanctioning the sale of former captain Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona.
Calum Chambers has risen to the challenge of filling that void and provided able cover for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the first month of the season, but the £16m man's rapid progress doesn't hide the need for experienced cover over the course of a gruelling campaign.
Reid certainly fits the bill in that respect and has become a solid Premier League defender over the last three seasons, but it remains to been if Arsenal have time to get this deal over the line.
Wenger puts charity first
Arsenal fans will probably be flabbergasted to learn that Gunners boss Wenger is busy elsewhere tonight, managing a charity match in Rome featuring the likes of Diego Maradona and Roberto Baggio in an event organised by Javier Zanetti.
Wenger will surely be frantically checking his phone though, with Reid in on a very small transfer shortlist that is still being actively pursued by Gunners chiefs.
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