Emirates Stadium boss hopes to lure Stamford Bridge pair across London.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly ready to make a January move to sign Chelsea pair Alex and Salomon Kalou as he looks to add more experience and strength in depth to his Gunners squad.
Andre Villas-Boas has already accepted a transfer request from Brazilian centre back Alex and appears to see Kalou as a back-up option and may therefore be ready to sell both players to help trim the large Blues squad. The Chelsea manager is keen to put his own stamp on the Stamford Bridge squad he inherited from Carlo Ancelotti in the summer and is apparently keen to make additions when the transfer window re-opens next month and may therefore look to offload players he deems as surplus to requirements to help make room for new signings.
Wenger has seen his defence struggle for form this season and is said to be keen on bring in further central defensive options after seeing his Arsenal side concede a massive 23 goals in 14 matches. Of his three main centre back options the Frenchman has watched as Per Mertesacker struggles to adapt to life in the Premier League and has seen Thomas Vermaelen struggle with injuries that have restricted the Belgian to just 11 starts in the last 18 months.
The third of that trio, Laurent Koscielny has been much improved this term after a shaky first season. This has led Wenger to believe he needs reinforcements and will make an offer of around £5m for the 29 year old former PSV Eindhoven man and whether the powerfully built centre back considers such a move depends a great deal on whether he feels a move to the Emirates Stadium will help him secure regular first team football.
Salomon Kalou has been a Wenger target for some time, with the Arsenal boss publicly stating his admiration for the Ivory Coast international. The Chelsea attacker could help add another dimension to the club’s attack, which currently relies a great deal on captain Robin Van Persie for end product.
Though 26 year old Kalou has never been a regular at Chelsea he has still managed to net 57 goals in five and a half seasons with the club and the fact that the former Feyenoord man can also play out on the wing is also a bonus for any prospective suitor.
Wenger is said to be willing to offer £8m for the bit part player who has fallen behind Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge in the Chelsea pecking order. Though Kalou will be ruled out for at least a month as he takes part in the African Nations Cup the Arsenal manager is still hopeful of snapping up the adaptable attacker next month.
Arsene Wenger knows it is imperative that he secures a top four finish this season and is therefore ready to make moves next month even though he is known historically for not spending a great deal in the January transfer window.