Arsenal 'make contact' with World Cup defender over possible free transfer - report

According to reports in Italy, Arsenal are have contacted Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner over a possible transfer.

Arsenal's season appears to be heading in the right direction again. Questions had been asked after they only drew 2-2 with Hull City at the Emirates Stadium, but wins over Anderlecht and Sunderland have restored the faith in the red half of North London.

The performances of summer signings Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck have been a welcome boost to manager Arsene Wenger, but problems persist in defence.

Whilst Wenger added Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers this summer, he didn't replace Thomas Vermaelen after selling the Belgian to Barcelona.

That looks like being a mistake, after suffering a spate of injuries in defence. Debuchy is still out for at least another month, whilst Chambers and Gibbs have also suffered knocks too.

As a result, the Gunners are widely expected to sign defensive reinforcements in January, and reports in Italy suggest that Juventus right back Stephan Lichtsteiner is on Wenger's radar.

The Swiss international, 30, represented his country at this summer's World Cup, and has earned a reputation for being a solid and dependable right back during spells with Lille, Lazio and now Juventus.

It's a strange link given that Wenger signed two right backs this summer after letting Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson leave the club, but it may be the biggest indication yet that the Frenchman sees Chambers' long-term future as a centre back.

Lichtsteiner is a free agent next summer and has yet to sign an extension with Juventus, and according to Italian football insider Gianluca Di Marzio, Arsenal have already made contact with the player over a possible move to North London.

The report doesn't confirm whether the deal would involve Arsenal buying Lichtsteiner in January or agreeing to sign him on a free next summer, whilst Inter Milan could also be interested in the player.

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