Arsenal have contact over a move for Fabian Schar, says agent. (Reuters) Reuters

Arsenal could be preparing to make FC Basel's Fabian Schar their first signing of the January transfer window after the defender's agent confirmed the Gunners are one of the clubs to make contact.

The 21-year-old defender has become an integral member of the Basel first XI in recent seasons with his performances in the Europa League and the Champions League over the past two seasons catching the eye of a number of clubs across the continent.

Switzerland international Schar has shone in clashes against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in 2013 and despite his side failing to clinch qualification for the knock out stages of Europe's elite tournament, his performances have caught the eye of Arsene Wenger.

"He is happy at Basel, where there is a great atmosphere within the club," Schar's agent Dimitrios Papadopoulos was quoted as saying by Metro.

"Arsenal? I can confirm we have had contact with English clubs who want to sign him. There is also interest from Italian and German clubs, but we have had more contact from England."

Borussia Dortmund are thought to be the other club giving serious consideration to a move for Schar. A move may be prompted after Jurgen Klopp was forced to implement countless defensive changes throughout the first half of the season after his first choice back four was ravaged by injury.

Defender Nevan Subotic was ruled out for six months in early November after tearing his cruciate knee ligaments and his defensive partner Mats Hummels is on the side lines until Christmas. Lukasz Pizczeck was also an absentee for the first four months of the season due to a hip injury but has returned to action in late November.

The weight of the defensive crisis that befell last seasons' Champions League and Bundesliga runners up was epitomised when the club were forced to offer a contract to 34-year-old Manuel Friedrich, who had been without a club since the summer.

But the German giants will have to strengthen their interest with Premier League clubs making the most noise ahead of the transfer window.

Persistent rumours regarding the future of Thomas Vermaelen suggest Arsenal may be keen to add another centre half to their ranks in the coming weeks. The 28-year-old has been handed just one Premier League start this campaign and with hopes of playing a key role in Marc Wilmots' Belgium side at the World Cup next summer a growing priority, the centre half may have to consider a move elsewhere.