Arsenal given encouragement over French defender pursuit, club will 'listen to offers'

Saint-Etienne boss Christophe Galtier says the club will listen to an offer from Arsenal for captain Loic Perrin.

If Arsenal fans had to pick one position to strengthen in the January transfer window, they'd be torn between centre back and defensive midfield.

In defence, they've watched manager Arsene Wenger struggle repeatedly with injuries, leading to full backs Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal playing as emergency centre backs.

Meanwhile, Mathieu Flamini continues to underwhelm in midfield, with Mikel Arteta out injured and Francis Coquelin called upon despite only being recalled from Charlton three weeks ago.

It's long been reported that Wenger would therefore like to sign a player who can fill both roles; play centre back and defensive midfield proficiently.

The most recent rumour has been that Wenger is lining up a move to sign his compatriot Loic Perrin from Saint-Etienne in January, with the 29-year-old centre back also playing in midfield during the early stages of his career.

Saint-Etienne have so far said that they wouldn't be interested in selling him, but his manager Christophe Galtier says that the club would listen to offers if Arsenal firm up their interest.

"The leaders are clear about the ambitions, I do not see how we could weaken but I spoke to Loïc, he knows the situation and hear about Arsenal. I think he is certainly on their list of players followed. If an offer were to arise, the club will then be listening," said Galtier.

"He is our captain and we talk about Arsenal. This is not any club or any championship. We will respect the will of Loïc although there is also the reality of the project we want to achieve. I know that Arsenal defender to play right away, they are not in the market for an investment," he added.

Perrin is touted as being worth around £6m, and would provide vital cover for Wenger and the Gunners should they tie up a January deal for him.

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