Arsenal are reportedly lining up a £8m move for Ipswich Town defender Tyron Mings, if they lose out to Manchester United for Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger has earmarked Mings as the player he would like to bring in to strengthen the Gunners defence if he misses out on the his primary target, who is the German international.
Apart from Arsenal, Premier League rivals United are also interested in the Bundesliga defender, but the Frenchman hopes to beat them to his signing during the January transfer window.
However, Dortmund are demanding a high fee for the defender and are not willing to part with him for anything less than £32m, which could cause Wenger to back out of the deal and focus on the English Championship defender.
The north London club have had severe defensive problems this season following injuries to Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy and Wenger's failure to replace Thomas Vermaelen, who departed for Barcelona in the summer.
But the Gunners boss has indicated that he will strengthen his defence during the January transfer window and he could turn to the Mings to fill in the void left by the Belgian.
The 21-year-old defender, who started his career with Southampton, can play at left-back and centre-back and these are attributes that the Arsenal manager appreciates.
However, Mings has distanced himself from a move to the Premier League immediately, as he believes it is better for his football development to remain with the Championship club under the tutelage of manager Mick McCarthy.
"There are pros and cons, going there. Would I have got in the team straight away? I doubt it. Would I have got the development that I will probably get at Ipswich? Probably not," Mings said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor here have definitely got my best interests at heart, and I can't think of two better people to help me with my development. I think I get that here better than anywhere else," the former Chippenham Town defender added.