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Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger keen to sign loan defender

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen
Vermaelen joined Arsenal in 2009

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that signing a defender on loan may be his best option as he looks to cover for the injured Thomas Vermaelen.

Wenger has three centre-halves after Vermaelen was ruled out until March with an Achilles tendon injury.

"[A loan] would be the best solution for us because what do you do with five centre-backs?" Wenger told the club's official website.

Wenger also stated striker Carlos Vela could go out on loan this week.

The 21-year-old has made 13 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal this season, scoring three goals, and has already been the subject of a loan bid from Bolton.

Wenger wants the Mexico international to get some playing time and said he would prefer for that move to be to an English club rather than to one abroad.


"There's nothing done at the moment, no," added Wenger.

"But that could be sorted out Wednesday or Thursday.

"Personally I wish [he would go to a Premier League club] because he's a great player and it will be easier for me to follow his progress but he is attracted by Spanish football because it is his home language. But hopefully we can find a good solution for him in England."

Vermaelen has not played for the Gunners since the end of August after the 25-year-old was injured playing for Belgium at the start of September.

Wenger had hoped to have Vermaelen back in action by the end of this month but on 16 January the club revealed he required surgery and could be out for another six weeks.

Arsenal take on Ipswich at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday in the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final with the Tractor Boys 1-0 up after the first leg.

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see also
Arsenal 3-0 Ipswich (3-1 agg)
25 Jan 11 |  League Cup
Arsenal 2-0 Wigan
30 Nov 10 |  League Cup
Jewell out to stun Arsenal in cup
24 Jan 11 |  League Cup
Injured Vermaelen to have surgery
16 Jan 11 |  Arsenal
Arsenal confirm Vermaelen signing
19 Jun 09 |  Arsenal

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