Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in the market for a defender during the January transfer window. REUTERS

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he is in the market for a defender during the January transfer window, but cautioned he is only looking for loan deals at the present time.

Injuries to Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos left the Arsenal manager with a shortfall of fullbacks over the hectic Christmas period and, with Bacary Sagna still well short of match-fitness, a host of names have been linked with a move to the Emirates.

However, historically Wenger has been reluctant to invest during the January window - citing the over-inflated prices of many players mid-season - and the Frenchman revealed he was unlikely to alter his buying policy at Arsenal this time around.

"At the moment nothing, we don't have a concrete case but we don't rule it out," Wenger told the official Arsenal Web site. [A loan defender is] the likely scenario, yes.

"[It should be a] quiet [January]. Europe is depressed and there is not a lot of money available, only some clubs who have exceptional resources. Let's say that clubs who are not linked with the economic environment at the moment can buy."

Meanwhile, Wenger believes "unusual mistakes" cost his side an eminently winnable game against Fulham on Monday. A run of seven points from a possible nine over Christmas had propelled Arsenal into the top-four, but they slipped out of the Champions League places following a 2-1 defeat against Fulham on Monday.

"I felt when we were down to 10 men we became too nervous and panicked a little bit in some situations where there was no reason to," Wenger said.

"In the end we got caught on unusual mistakes for us and you are always highly disappointed when you have produced the need performance. We led 1-0 after 84 minutes and then lost the game. Of course when you are a team like Arsenal, you cannot be happy with that."

Johan Djourou's red card with 13 minutes to go precipitated a turnaround in Arsenal's fortunes as two late goals allowed Fulham to steal all three points. And Wenger believes his side have to close out such "winnable" games if they are to secure a place in Europe's premier competition next season.

"If we had lost the game and deserved it completely, you could say 'OK'," he added. "But that was a game that was winnable for us.

"Man Utd lost at Newcastle on Wednesday night and it was quite a logical score. Then you could say 'OK you had a bad day, it can happen to anybody in the league'. But we have lost a game we should have won and that's where we have hope and regrets.

"It's hope because we know we have the potential to do very well and regrets because in this game we know we did not get the result we could have got."