Arsene Wenger wants to strengthen his options during the January transfer window by attempting to persuade Montepellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Barcelona forward David Villa to sign for Arsenal.

The Gunners boss admitted in a recent press conference that he was keen to ship out some of his unwanted players in January and it seems he is attempting to make space for some new arrivals.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa captained Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title last season [Reuters]

Having already allowed Marouane Chamakh to join West Ham, defenders Sebastien Squillaci and Johan Djourou have been told they can find new clubs which would make room for Yanga-Mbiwa.

The 23-year-old helped led Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title last season and decided to remain at the club in order to compete in the Champions League. However, the French side were knocked out of Europe and Arsenal may now look to take advantage.

The Mirror has reported that Arsenal made an offer for the defender in the summer, when they also signed Olivier Giroud from the same club, and are now keen to make an improved offer having been knocked back first time round.

Yanga-Mbiwa can play anywhere across the backline, and with worries that Bacary Sagna could leave at the end of the season, it would hand Wenger another top class option at right-back.

The France international has also excelled playing in the centre of defence and would provide stiff competition for the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker.

It also appears as though the French defender is not the only player on the radar of Wenger as the Mirror believes that Barcelona forward Villa is also a target for the north London club.

David Villa
David Villa has struggled to get into the Barcelona team under Tito Vilanova [Reuters]

Villa has struggled to break into the Barcelona side under Tito Vilanova and was once again forced to start on the bench on Sunday night as they overcame neighbours Espanyol 4-0 in their first game after the winter break.

The Spain international is said to be unhappy at life on the bench but it will be difficult to persuade Barcelona to allow the player to leave in January as they attempt to win the treble of La Liga, the Champions League and the Cup.