Arsenal are close to securing the signing of Paris Saint-Germain defender Layvin Kurzawa, it has been revealed.
The Athletic journalist David Ornstein – a man close to all matters with Arsenal – understands talks between the Gunners and the Ligue 1 giants have progressed past the initial stages.
Arsenal are short on options in defence due to a number of injuries and, if Mikel Arteta is to strengthen his squad during the current transfer window, adding numbers in that area was always going to be a priority.
Kurzawa, 27, is available on a free transfer in the summer when his contract expires but it is believed Arsenal are keen to do a deal to bring him to the Emirates Stadium this month.
And Ornstein claims the Gunners are still hoping that they could get him without having to pay a fee.
Ornstein writes: ‘Arsenal hope to do more incoming business in January and are working on three to four deals but do not plan on significant expenditure.
‘They will instead look to utilise the loan market and free transfers, or (as in the case of Kurzawa) sign players with small fees.’
Asked about his defensive headaches on Wednesday, Arteta replied: “We are playing with full-backs that are not full-backs.
“They are wingers or central midfielders and could we afford to lose full-backs? No, but we don’t have any full-backs.”
With Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac both injured, Arteta is likely to have to field young winger Bukayo Saka at left-back against Sheffield United on Saturday.
Tierney had been a long-standing target for Arsenal and was finally recruited in the summer but his first months in north London have been thwarted by fitness issues.
Kurzawa would come in as a challenger to his position, with the France international starting just six league games for PSG so far this season.
Arsenal’s original plans had been for a quiet January window but the need for an additional body at the back appears to have changed their outlook.
It remains to be seen if a fee can be agreed between the two sides but it is reported that Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi is in charge of the talks.
Kurzawa, who joined PSG in a €23m deal from Monaco in 2015, has won three Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France crowns and a trio of Coupe de la Ligue trophies while at the Parc des Princes.