By Chris Harris
The imminent return of Sebastien Squillaci will make it easier for Arsène Wenger to contemplate life without a new centre back.
The Arsenal manager has been on the lookout for a reinforcement this month after Thomas Vermaelen (tendon) was ruled out until late-February and Squillaci suffered a hamstring strain. But Wenger's search, which in his words has taken him "everywhere and nowhere", has not borne fruit.
The January transfer window remains open for another week but Wenger's concerns have been eased by the recovery of Squillaci, who is due to return to training on Thursday ahead of a possible comeback in the FA Cup against Huddersfield on Sunday.
"It does of course [ease my mind] because at the moment you think the only resource available is Alex Song," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.
"Song is an important player in midfield as well so you could weaken your midfield. Squillaci being available makes it much easier."
That is just as well because Wenger admits he is no longer confident of bringing in another centre back to support the current fit pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou.
"[The search is going] as slowly as I run at the moment. Nowhere near, we cannot say we are nowhere but we are nowhere near [a deal]," said the manager.
"At the moment I’m not too confident. I look every day after Squillaci and Vermaelen as well as I can because I try to get positive vibes from Vermaelen."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Jan 2011