By Editor Wayne Veysey
Arsenal have opened preliminary talks with Aston Villa about the transfer of Carl Jenkinson, Football Insider sources understand.
The Premier League heavyweights are in discussions with the Championship club about a deal in which Jenkinson would spend the second half of the season on loan at Villa Park.
A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Villa manager Steve Bruce has made it clear that he wants a deal in place for the 24-year-old full-back to join at the start of January.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told Jenkinson he is free to find a new club for the second half of the campaign in order to play regular first-team football.
Jenkinson, who spent two years on loan at West Ham before suffering a knee injury in January that ruled him out for 10 months, made his return for Arsenal in October following an 898-day absence.
He has started five matches for the Wenger’s high flying side this season and was used at right-back while Hector Bellerin was sidelined with ankle ligament damage.
But Arsenal’s coaching staff were not convinced by Jenkinson’s displays and centre-back Gabriel was chosen ahead of him for a number of matches.
Wenger believes that Gabriel and Mathieu Debuchy, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, can provide cover for first choice Bellerin at right-back and allow Jenkinson to once again go out on loan.
Arsenal have a long history of agreeing loan deals with Bruce, who took the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Fabrice Muamba and Sebastian Larsson under his wing when they were emerging through the Gunners ranks.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club have agreed a trial with a view to a January deal for a young full-back.