By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger is on the market for a centre half after Thomas Vermaelen suffered “a little setback” over the weekend.

In the past few days, the Arsenal manager confirmed he would look to acquire a new defender if the Belgian had a delay in his recovery from an Achilles problem or Sebastien Squillaci was sidelined for some time with the hamstring injury he collected against Leeds on Saturday.

The latter will be out for only “two to three weeks” but, after this latest development, Wenger was not prepared to put a return date on Vermaelen. Hence his decision to enter the market.

“He has another check today,” the manager told TV Online on Tuesday afternoon. “He had another setback on Saturday that we are concerned with. We are consulting top specialists around the world. We’ll know more on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately I can’t give you any precise date but I concede that, with this little setback from Thomas, we are in a situation where we will have to look around.

“Squillaci will be out for a maximum of three weeks, minimum two. It is a hamstring injury but it is not too bad - a grade one. He’ll be back in two weeks if all goes well.”

As for Ipswich in Wednesday’s Carling Cup Semi-Final first leg, Wenger confirmed that he will continue to rotate his squad once more and that Wojciech Szczesny will stay in goal.

Subscribers can see the full interview later on TV Online. In it he talks about:

  • his current thoughts on signing a centre back
  • the internal options
  • some names that have cropped up in the media
  • the threat of a side with nothing to lose
  • going all out in the Carling Cup
  • why the Leeds tie will be a help for Wednesday
  • the busy January ahead
  • Thierry Henry’s return to the Club to train
  • being named Coach of the Decade
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 11 Jan 2011