Arsenal boss Unai Emery not planning January transfers to fix defence amid Upamecano links | Football | Sport

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Arsenal are set to have quiet January transfer window as Unai Emery trusts in the quality of his current playing squad, according to reports.

Gunners fans have been calling for defensive reinforcements, with Dayot Upamecano touted as a main target for a big-money move.

The Athletic have now claimed that the French defender is unlikely to be the subject of a bid from Arsenal despite their ongoing interest, with RB Leipzig holding out for £88million (€100m).

The 20-year-old joined the Bundesliga side from Red Bull Salzburg back in 2017 and has impressed in his 49 subsequent appearances, but is almost certain to stay in Germany due to his hefty price tag.

Although incoming deals may be limited, that won’t stop Arsenal looking to reduce their wage bill by allowing players to leave on temporary or permanent deals.

Former star man Mesut Ozil has been linked with a move away from the club after slipping down the pecking order, but Paul Merson is desperate to see him return to the side.

Merson told the Daily Star: “He’s a luxury player, and the manager has obviously decided he can’t carry a player like that in a team that’s already one of the worst around without the ball.

“With these games coming up, Arsenal are going to have 70% of the possession. He thrives in those situations.

“Unai Emery should bring him in from the cold. But he won’t.

“If he plays Ozil and they win, he has to keep playing him, and the manager doesn’t want that. The manager wants him out.

“And if that’s the plan then they are going to have to swallow a pill and get rid of him in January come what may.”

Next up for Arsenal is the trip to play Sheffield United on Monday evening (8pm) as they look to keep their place in the top four of the Premier League.

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