Stephan Lichsteiner
Arsenal set to ward off interest from Chelsea and Real Madrid for Stephan LichtsteinerReuters

Arsenal are trying to force a move for Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner in January amid competition from Chelsea and Real Madrid, according to the Daily Express.

The Gunners are in the market for a defender and have earmarked Lichtsteiner as a viable option, especially with the defender's contract set to expire in the summer. However, Madrid and Chelsea have both expressed interest in the player and are likely to offer him much better terms should he be available as a free agent at the end of season.

Arsene Wenger is taking no chances in this regard and are willing to pay Juventus a nominal fee to secure his services in January itself and ease their defensive woes. Long term injuries to the likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny have brought the Gunners down to their bare bones, and cost them important points this season.

Nacho Monreal is being deployed at centre-back alongside Per Mertesacker, with Calum Chambers deployed at right-back for the injured Frenchman. Kieran Gibbs also picked up a knock against Sunderland and is unlikely to feature against Burnley in the Premier League next weekend.

Wenger's failure to buy a defender last summer, in spite of the lack of options at the back is hurting Arsenal, who are currently nine points behind league leaders Chelsea. Their 2-0 win over Sunderland was only their third in the league, with the two others coming against Aston Villa and Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season.

However, Juventus are still hopeful of convincing the player to sign an extension, failing which the Italians are likely to do business in January. The 30-year-old is cup-tied in the Champions League but the Gunners are unlikely to make much fuss over the situation, especially with Premier League action at its peak during that period.