Arsenal have reportedly got three centrebacks on their shortlist ahead of the January transfer window, including Gary Cahill once again this time as a short-term option.

Gary Cahill

Unai Emery favours three centrebacks, which wouldn’t be a problem if Arsenal had no injury problems in that area. Rob Holding, as you know, is out for the season while Laurent Koscielny will make his season bow against Qarabag on Thursday night.

Unlike Arsene Wenger, Emery is not keen on playing either Nacho Monreal or Stephan Lichsteiner out of position so the club are expected to dip into the market when it opens next month.

Daily Star, 13 December 2018

Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, Real Valladolid’s Fernando Calero and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill are all said to be on a shortlist the club are compiling.

Cahill is out of contract in the summer and the 32-year-old looks set to leave Stamford Bridge. Arsenal tried to sign him when he was at Bolton but it remains to be seen if Chelsea would sell to a rival.

In 2011, then-Bolton manager, Owen Coyle, described Arsenal’s £7m bid for Cahill as ‘derisory’.  “There was a conversation between [the Bolton chairman] Phil Gartside and a representative of Arsenal,” Coyle said.

“I’m only passing this on as a third party, but the word derisory doesn’t even cover it. When I make an offer for a player, I’d like to think in the right ballpark, but this wasn’t even close.”

Bolton then sold Cahill to Chelsea for £7.54m which, if you ask me, seems very much in the same ballpark as £7m, what with them even starting with the same number.

Emery quotes

“I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think if we can take one player to help us at centreback, it’s a good option,” Emery told reporters ahead of the game against Qarabag. “In the transfer market, it is not easy.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Unai Emery, Manager of Arsenal looks on prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 25: Unai Emery, Manager of Arsenal looks on prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

“Koscielny coming back is very important for the team and we are going to wait to see how Konstantinos Mavropanos is improving with his injuries.

“Nacho Monreal can play in this position. But I prefer to use, if we can, specific centre-backs in this position.

“We are going to give players chances to take responsibility against Qarabag. We are going to play four matches in the next 10 days. They are all important.”