Ron Vlaar
Ron Vlaar in one of Arsene Wenger's potential January transfer window targets along with Virgil van Dijk and Chris SmallingGetty Images

Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their search for defensive reinforcements and will discuss potential targets during a scouting meeting next week.

According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners are keen on bolstering their back line during the January transfer window and are monitoring various players. Arsene Wenger has also confirmed that he will look to sign a player during the January transfer window to bolster Arsenal's defence.

The Emirates Stadium outfit are currently struggling with a defensive crisis with first choice defenders Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy facing a long spell on the side lines, which means Nacho Monreal, who is primarily a left-back, has to partner Per Mertesacker at the heart of the Arsenal defence.

The north London side have earmarked three defenders, Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa, Celtic's Virgil van Dijk and Manchester United's Chris Smalling.

Vlaar is also a target for Manchester United, and could be available for a cut price deal as he is on the final year of his contract and Villa will prefer to cash in on the defender rather than lose on him on a free in the summer.

The Celtic defender has been a long-term target for the Gunners and failed with a move during the summer transfer window. Wenger could reignite his interest yet again during the winter, but the player himself has declared that he is in no hurry to leave his current employers.

Smalling was also on Wenger's radar during the summer, but the Red Devils were keen to hold on to the defender, but interest could be revived since Louis van Gaal is now considering whether to let him go after some poor performances for United.

Apart from the three defenders, Wenger is also keeping an eye on Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, but his £37m release-clause is a stumbling block for the Gunners.