Joao Pereira
Arsenal are considering a move for Valencia right-back Joao Pereira (L) to provide cover for the injured Mathieu DebuchyReuters

Arsenal are reportedly keeping tabs on Valencia right-back Joao Pereira with a view to a move during the ongoing January transfer window.

According to Tutto Mercato Web, Arsene Wenger is still in the market for defensive reinforcements despite the imminent arrival of Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal and he has earmarked the Portuguese defender as a stop gap for the rest of the season.

The Gunners have endured an injury-ravaged campaign and have seen almost every first-team player spend time on the sidelines at some point in the season so far. It has been especially bad in defence, with Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Debuchy all spending considerable amount of time on the treatment table.

The latter of the above mentioned quartet, Debuchy, has had a wretched season, after returning from an ankle injury, which kept him out for three months. The French defender suffered a dislocated shoulder that has again been ruled him out for a similar duration, leaving youngsters Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin as the only recognised right-backs in the squad.

The report claims that, this long-term injury to the former Newcastle United defender and with Chambers mainly looked upon as a backup centre-back, has prompted the Arsenal manager to ponder a move for Pereira.

The former Sporting Lisbon defender is on the final six-months of his contract with the La Liga club. Moreover, he has also fallen down the pecking order and is now the third choice right-back. Valencia will be open to his departure and he could provide cover for Bellerin, who is still inexperienced in matters of dealing with pressure on a weekly basis.

The 30-year-old Portuguese international is an experienced campaigner, who has spent his time playing with top clubs like Benfica, Sporting and Valencia, he is a versatile player, who can operate at right-back or as a right-side midfielder. Pereira was also part of the Portugal squad at last summer's World Cup in Brazil.