Arsenal and Middlesbrough are expected to have reached an agreement over a season-long loan move for Calum Chambers. Arsene Wenger is keen for the former Southampton defender to gain regular first-team experience before returning to fight for a place in the first-team.
Sky Sports reports that the player is due for a medical at Teeside before a temporary move is confirmed ahead of the close of the summer transfer window at 11pm BST on Wednesday (31 August). The English defender has dropped further down the pecking order following the arrival of Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi and is currently fourth choice, but that is due to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista being sidelined with injury.
Chambers joined the Gunners from Southampton in 2014 and has made 59 appearances in all competitions. He initially featured at right-back but is primarily a central defender. He started in central defence for the opening game of the current campaign against Liverpool, but the arrival of Mustafi and Wenger preferring Holding as Koscielny's partner has prompted the 21-year-old defender to seek a temporary move away.
Middlesbrough returned to the Premier League this season after spending seven years in the Championship and will be keen to remain in the English top-flight for more than one campaign. Aitor Karanka has strengthened his side during the summer transfer window and has already made 10 signings. They have had a fairly strong return to the top league as they remain unbeaten after one win and two draws in their opening three games.
Wenger has made it clear that a loan move will not have any effect on Chambers' future at the club. He remains very much a part of the French manager's plans, but he is keen for the defender to play regular first-team football.
"Future? No. The fact that he [Chambers] could go out somewhere and play? Yes," Wenger was quoted as saying on Arsenal's official site.