Arsenal are preparing a move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk in January to ease their defensive crisis, according to the Daily Express.

The Gunners currently have only four fit defenders for as many positions, with Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal both unavailable due to injury.

The Frenchman, who replaced Bacary Sagna in the summer, ruptured his ankle ligament which will see him out of action till December.

New signing Calum Chambers is currently deputising at right-back, a position which he is familiar with since his time at Southampton.

Van Djik was linked with a move out of Scotland in the summer, with the Saints and Sunderland both interested in his signature. So much so that Celtic left him out of the squad that started on deadline day.

The defender is expected to be available for a fee in the range of £8m, a reasonable amount, given the inflation in the market.

He will be inducted into the squad as backup for Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, both of whom have played a number of games owing to lack of quality replacements.

An injury to either of them will be a major blow to Arsenal's quest for title glory, as the Gunners are already suffering.

The onus will be on Celtic to take the call, with the player insisting that he is happy at the club but has hinted that he would prefer playing in the Champions League if given an option. The Scottish Champions have already sold Fraser Forster to Southampton in the summer and any further business may undermine their title hopes.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will be looking to get their season back on track against Hull City this weekend after a 2-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.