William Carvalho
Carvalho scouted by both Arsenal and United. (Reuters)Reuters

Arsenal are planning a January swoop for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho with Arsene Wenger looking to strengthen his squad which has been inflicted with a barrage of injuries, according to the Metro.

Arsenal are without Theo Walcott till the end of the season and had Mikel Arteta limp out in their 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the third round of the FA Cup. The Gunners are looking to callenge for the title this season and the Frenchman is wary of their depleted squad strength and is desperate to strengthen so as to end their eight season trophy drought.

Wenger has asked his scouts to keep a close eye on the player and keep him updated on his abilities having been told that the 21-year-old is already a mainstay in the Lisbon midfield after impressing for the Portuguese club. However, the midfielder has four years left on his current contract and is also partly owned by a third party, something which may prove a snag if Wenger decides to make a move.

He is likely to be brought in as a long term successor of Arteta, who is nearing his mid-thirties and is unlikely to hold the midfield anchor role for the Gunners for the foreseeable future. The midfielder made his debut for Portugal in their 3-2 win over Sweden in the World Cup play-offs and is believed that he will make the trip to Brazil later this year. Should he live up to his expectations, he will demand a much higher fee than what he is currently valued at, something which Wenger would look to avoid.

Arsenal have a series of tough fixture coming up in February and March, with the Gunners set to play Bayern Munich over two legs in the Champions League and have a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool next month. The north London club also have to play hosts to Manchester United and Manchester City during that period while travelling to Chelsea and Everton in close proximity of each other. Wenger will be looking to unearth as many points as they can in January, with games against Fulham, Aston Villa and Southampton on the horizon.