Arsenal are reportedly interested in recruiting the services of French defender Kurt Zouma, with boss Arsene Wenger looking to prepare for life after two of his most experienced defenders in the summer.
Bacary Sagna is still yet to agree a new deal and looking more and more likely to leave the club at the end of the season. Wenger is preparing to lose Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen, too.
Arsene Wenger is ready to do battle with Jose Mourinho over French prospect Kurt Zouma.
Chelsea boss Mourinho is in pole position to sign Saint Etienne and France Under-21 defender Zouma and wants to land him in January.
Cross claims that Wenger is to meet with his backroom staff this week to discuss January transfer targets, with former Gunners midfielder and current scout Gilles Grimandi high on the potential of Zouma.
The Frenchman is rated as one of the best prospects in Europe, but any January transfer would see him unavailable immediately. Zouma is banned until February after breaking an opponent's leg in a horrific challenge whilst playing for Saint-Etienne.
WhoScored's excellent player database also suggests that Zouma would fit in at Arsenal. Aerial duels and passing, perhaps more importantly, are listed as his strengths. That would make him an ideal candidate to replace Vermaelen, should the Belgian opt out of Arsenal.
With a World Cup around the corner, Vermaelen may feel he has to leave in order to cement his place in a Belgium side that is largely expected to impress at the finals in Brazil next summer.
He has been unable to dislodge the excellent pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny due to some sparkling performances from the two.
Despite a striker obviously remaining the priority for the Gunners, Wenger is always looking to sign youngsters for the future—as his Arsenal transfer record would suggest.
The signing of Zouma would ensure that Arsenal have one of the most promising youngsters in the continent in their ranks for the next few years, at least.