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Arsenal are reportedly considering a move for Manchester United’s Eric Bailly or Chelsea’s Gary Cahill in the January transfer window after centre-back Rob Holding was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
According to ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden, Bailly could be a tricky target as United would rather get rid of Marcos Rojo next month, but Cahill is set to be allowed to leave on loan.
Holding, 23, was stretchered off in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with the Red Devils last week and may not return to action for nine months:
Both Bailly and Cahill have struggled for minutes this season.
Jose Mourinho has limited the Ivorian to just four Premier League starts for United.
Meanwhile, Englishman Cahill has been handed just 21 minutes of action in the English top flight by Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.
Cahill’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the 32-year-old would fit the bill for what Ogden reported Arsenal want: “An experienced centre-half to maintain necessary depth in their defensive options.”
Bailly, on the other hand, would be more of a risk but could potentially pay huge dividends further down the line.
The 24-year-old has been out of the United team due to a combination of injuries and loss of form.
But when he first arrived at Old Trafford from Villarreal for £30 million in 2016, he was impressive.
And he showed his enduring quality when he turned out recently against the Gunners:
Arsenal’s centre-back ranks are fragile, and though Laurent Koscielny is nearing a return to action following an Achilles injury, the Frenchman is now 33.
Cahill could provide decent cover for Holding until the end of the season. But if Arsenal want to bolster their defence long term, they should arguably push hard to sign Bailly.