Mathieu Debuchy
Mathieu Debuchy has lost his place in the Arsenal first team to Hector BellerinGetty

Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy is set to open talks with Serie A club AS Roma over a loan move for the rest of the season. The French defender is keen to move away from the north London club in search of regular first-team football ahead of the European Championships in France in the summer.

According to the Mirror, the Italian giants are leading the race for the experienced Frenchman despite interest from a number of clubs in the Premier League and Ligue 1. The report claims that Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini is due to hold talks with the player's representatives and the Gunners in the coming days to seal the move.

Arsene Wenger has publicly stated that he will not stand in the defender's way but will be wary of letting him go due to the lack of cover in the right-back position. Twenty-year-old defender Hector Bellerin has usurped Debuchy to become the manager's preferred choice at right-back but an injury will leave Arsenal short of options in case of the former Newcastle defender's departure.

Arsenal do have Calum Chambers as a potential backup for Bellerin but the lack of options in the midfield have seen the former Southampton player being deployed as a defensive midfielder in recent weeks. However, with the potential arrival of Mohamed Elneny in the coming days, Chambers can be called up to cover the full-back or centre-back positions.

The 30-year-old defender, who was signed from Newcastle in 2013, had an injury ravaged first season at the club and has failed to dislodge the impressive young Spaniard. He is now looking to move away in order to keep his place in the France national team ahead of the Euros in his homeland later in the year. Debuchy is expected to initially move on loan with a view to a permanent exit in the summer.