Arsenal are ready to firm up their interest in Cedric Soares with a late move for the Southampton defender.
The Gunners have turned their attentions to the versatile Soares, who has just six months left on his St Mary’s contract, and are prepared to pay £5m plus bonuses for the 28-year-old.
Arsenal were keen to strengthen in the full-back area and had held talks with Paris Saint-Germain this month about a move for left-back Layvin Kurzawa.
Arsenal have lined up a late January move for Southampton full-back Cedric Soares
Euro 2016 World Cup winner Soares is primarily a right-back but also capable of playing as a left-back.
He would give Mikel Arteta a more natural defensive option for the full-back role if he arrives at the Emirates from Southampton, who are weighing up whether to sanction Soares’s departure ahead of right-back Kyle Walker-Peters’s arrival on loan from Tottenham on Wednesday.
Arteta has had to deploy midfielders Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka as makeshift full-backs during his reign due to injuries to Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac.
Soares is out of contract in the summer and Southampton are looking to possibly cash in
Meanwhile, centre-back Shkodran Mustafi’s injury is not as bad as first feared with the defender suffering just a sprained ankle in Arsenal’s FA Cup win at Bournemouth.
Mustafi had to be carried off on a stretcher after landing awkwardly in the second half of Arsenal’s 2-1 victory sparking concerns he had suffered a serious injury.
But Mustafi was able to leave the Vitality Stadium on foot, with his injured ankle in a protective boot as a precaution, and returned to Arsenal’s training ground after the game with the rest of his teammates, in a first encouraging sign.
Mikel Arteta has been wanting to strengthen his Arsenal defence since the window opened
Arsenal received further positive news that the World Cup winner is set to avoid a lengthy lay off following initial tests on Tuesday.
Arsenal will continue to assess Mustafi over the next 48 hours as they wait for the swelling around his ankle to fully subside.
He is unlikely to miss too much action as, after Sunday’s trip to Burnley, Arsenal have two weeks off for their mid-season break.
Arsenal confirmed they will head to Dubai during their fortnight off and spend five days having arranged a warm weather training camp from February 7-11.