Arsenal stormed to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 home win over Stoke, but a lack of centre-back cover in the squad could see them move for young Basel stopper Fabian Schar in January.
However, Italian giants Juventus are also thought to be ready to swoop for the 21-year-old who impressed with his tenacity and calmness under pressure in his team’s 2-1 Champions League win at Chelsea.
Schar only broke into the Switzerland squad this year, but has already made his mark by scoring in each of their recent World Cup qualifiers against Iceland and Norway, bagging both goals in his team’s 2-0 victory over the latter.
Arsene Wenger’s side are in from 15/2 to 13/2 for the Premier League title after their weekend win at the Emirates, but with only three senior centre-halves in the squad and games coming thick and fast at home and in Europe their defence could start to look stretched as the campaign unfolds.
Thomas Vermaelen’s injury at the start of the season has seen right-back Bacary Sagna cover in the centre of defence this term and while the Frenchman has performed admirably, January reinforcements are clearly required.
The Gunners were heavily linked with Swansea and Wales captain Ashley Williams during the summer and are also thought to be monitoring the form and fitness of Schalke’s £11m-rated Greek international Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
Schar may feel he has a better chance of dislodging either Giorgio Chiellini or Leonardo Bonnuci from the Juventus back-line than forcing his way past the impressive combination of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
The pair have seen just two goals slip past keeper Wojciech Szczesny in the four games they have started together in all competitions since Koscielny’s opening day dismissal in the 3-1 home loss against Aston Villa.
Juventus may see Schar as a long-term replacement for 29-year-old vice-captain Chiellini, who was forced to deny rumours that he was moving to either Real Madrid or Man City over the summer.