By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger hasn’t completely ruled out signing a centre back in January but he admits it would be “ideal” to secure a loan deal instead.

The Arsenal manager was left with just two fully-fit central defenders recently, prompting him to look for reinforcements.

His search for the right player has so far proved fruitless and Sebastien Squillaci’s return from injury has eased his concerns. However, speaking at Friday’s press conference, the manager conceded a temporary deal could still be done.

“No I don't rule it out,” said Wenger. “If we can get a defender on loan until the end of the season, it is an ideal solution for us.

“It would not get us into a position where we have to pay five defenders for four years and it would cover the season. If we find that opportunity we will do it. We believe in the quality of the defenders we have, but we are a bit short in numbers.

"We've looked and we've not found any reasonable solutions. We're in a situation where we're happy with the performances of Squillaci, Djourou, Koscielny and we believe in the quality of Vermaelen.

"If we buy another one, first, we have to buy him for four years and then we have to pay him for four years. We will have five centre backs.

"People say always: 'you must buy, buy, buy.' But you must pay them as well. You want to sign a player for four years, all the others are on long contracts and then suddenly you have five and then Song is six.

"What do six centre backs do? Watch the games in the stands because they don't play."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
28 Jan 2011