Cheikhou Kouyate
Cheikhou KouyateReuters

Arsenal and Liverpool have contacted Anderlecht over a transfer for Cheikhou Kouyate, according to his agent.

The Metro reports that the Gunners were hot on the heels of the defender after the end of the 2012 Olympics but the player's inability to get a work permit meant that the deal fell through.

However, Arsenal have renewed their interest in the versatile player, who can play in right-back and in midfield and can be used as replacemnt for Bacary Sagna who is yet to sign a extension on his current contract, which expires after the end of the season.

The Gunners will be joined by Liverpool who are also in the marker for reinforcements, having lost their position at the top of the table after consecutive losses against Chelsea and Manchester City before the New Year.

The defender has been given the go-ahead for a move in January and has previously expressed his desire to play in the Premier League. His agent, Saffet Balkan, confirmed that there is no dearth of quality options should he choose to make the move.

"I have been in talks with representatives from Liverpool and Arsenal over Cheikhou Kouyate. Arsenal are very interested in Kouyate. It's very likely that he'll be joining a Premier League club soon," Balkan said.

The Gunners are currently top of the table, one point ahead of Manchester City and two ahead of Chelsea with 20 games played thus far this season.

Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen in January which will keep their hopes alive of challenging for the title after a myriad of injuries to key players has cut their challenge short.

Theo Walcott is out for six months with an anterior cruciate ligament tear while Aaron Ramsey has been missing over the Christmas period with a calf strain.

Olivier Giroud is also out with an ankle injury but is expected to be back for their game against Aston Villa in the upcoming Monday. Meanwhile, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has rejoined full training and will be available for selection later this month.