Arsenal could make Lazio defensive midfielder Cristian Ledesma their single January transfer window signing after the player's representative confirmed the Gunners have sent scouts to watch the Italian international.
Ledesma is out of contract in the summer but could make a switch to the Premier League next month, with Arsene Wenger desperate to strengthen a midfield that has provided woeful protection to the club's back four this season.
The 32 year old has made just one Serie A start for Lazio this season and appears to be surplus to requirements in the Italian captain under current manager Stefano Pioli, with Arsenal among the clubs monitoring the veteran.
"It is true, Arsenal are interested in Cristian," the Italy international's agent Vincenzo D'Ippolito said. "There have been scouts [watching]. We'll see if there will be an opportunity to examine an offer."
The addition of Ledesma would represent the latest experienced player to join Arsenal in recent years, after Kim Kallstrom, Thierry Henry and Jens Lehmann spent temporary spells at the club and would again go against Wenger's usual policy in the window.
Despite having wafer-thin resources in both defensive midfield, where Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta are both currently out, and in the Arsenal back four in which there are just senior players available, Wenger says he is only planning to make one addition in January.
"January may be a month where we have everyone [who is injured] back," he said last week. "We have gone through a period where we are very short. In January, we will of course try to get at least one body in."
Though victory over West Bromwich Albion put Arsenal 13 points behind unbeaten league leaders Chelsea, the club had suffered their worst start to a campaign since 1982 and a lack of resources across the squad has been blamed for such struggles.