Arsenal are preparing a move in signing Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho in January, according to the Telegraph.
The 22-year-old has long been linked with a move to the Premier League with the Gunners and their league rivals Manchester United also chasing the midfielder since last summer. Both clubs failed to land him as he continued with his current employers.
The north London club's manager Arsene Wenger made multiple bids for Carvalho in the summer transfer window and is now planning to test Sporting's resolve by making another approach for him this month.
The Gunners have stepped up their efforts and are set to complete the move for Carvalho in the next two weeks. Any move from Arsenal in signing the Portuguese international will see them spend big as his transfer fee will be in excess of £25m.
Arsenal lack quality players in the defensive midfield position as Wenger has the services of Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini as the only recognised players in the squad. The former Everton midfielder is sidelined with long-term injury.
The Frenchman fielded Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky ahead of his back four during their latest victory over Stoke City, ahead of his compatriot Flamini. Wenger is aware that he needs to strengthen defensively, in order to avoid conceding cheap goals.
Carvalho's physical presence will give Arsenal's attacking players more freedom going forward and their role of tracking back to support the defenders will be reduced.
Meanwhile, Arsenal registered a 3-0 victory at home against Stoke City in the Premier League clash on Sunday. Laurent Koscielny opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Alexis Sanchez netted on either sides helping the Gunners seal a comfortable win after dominating the match.
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla was delighted with his side's performance and also heaped praise on the former Barcelona forward.
"We did very well and now we have to continue to play the same way. We have one week of rest now to prepare for the Manchester City game," Cazorla told Arsenal's official website.
On Sanchez, the Spain international said, "Alexis is one of the best players in the world, he's very important for us, he plays very well every game and I hope he can play the same all season."