Arsenal are considering a summer move for Aston Villa defender Matthew Lowton, to replace French international Bacary Sagna. The Mirror believes Arsene Wenger has been monitoring the 23-year-old for a while and is impressed with his performances, despite his lack of international experience.
Villa have had a poor season, and Paul Lambert's side are in danger of relegation, with only three points separating them from Wigan Athletic and the start of the drop zone.
However, Lowton has had an excellent season personally, with 40 starts in all competitions. The former Sheffield United youngster, who only joined Villa Park in the summer, also has two goals and two assists to his name.
Sagna's future at the Emirates is uncertain. The 29-year-old is out of contract with the club in 2014 and has been linked with a move to Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain (PSG), as well as Serie A club Inter Milan. He has been offered a 12-month extension without a pay-rise; he is now paid £60,000 per week. However, the right-back is reportedly feeling "disrespected" and is unhappy over the terms of the proposed extension.
Wenger On Giroud Red Card
Meanwhile, Wenger has revealed he has no complaints over the red card given to France striker Olivier Giroud over the weekend. The 26-year-old former Montpellier forward, a summer signing, was sent off late in the match against Fulham. The Gunners held on to win 1-0.
"It looked like it [deserved a red card], yes. I spoke with Giroud just now and he said he slipped when he went for the ball and I don't complain about [the decision]," Wenger explained after the match.
The red card means Giroud is unavailable for at least the next three games - at home to Manchester United and Wigan and at QPR. It is likely the first of those three - the clash against United - that will worry Wenger the most. However, the Gunners' boss remained optimistic and said he would deal with the setback.
The defeat of Fulham moves Arsenal back to third in the league and gives them positional advantage in the three-horse race for the two remaining Champions League slots. Chelsea and Tottenham, who trail on points but have games in hand, are both in action on Sunday: the Blues visit Anfield and Spurs host Manchester City, who took an early lead in the game.