By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Remi Garde has confirmed he has spoken to Arsenal about signing Mathieu Debuchy.
Football Insider revealed at the end of last month that Villa had opened preliminary talks with the Gunners about signing Debuchy on loan until the end of the season.
Arsene Wenger has admitted that Frenchman Debuchy could leave Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window due to lack of first-team action.
Speaking at his media briefing on Thursday, Villa manager Garde said: “I had a conversation with Arsene a few days ago about some of the players and Mathieu Debuchy was among these players.
“It’s too early and it won’t help me or anyone to go forward in this style to make too many more comments.”
France international Debuchy needs regular first-team action to guarantee himself a place in Didier Deschamps’ Euro 2016 squad but has been a fringe figure this season.
Football Insider revealed on 19 October that Debuchy will ask for a winter transfer if he remains second choice to Bellerin.
Debuchy signed for Arsenal from Newcastle for an initial £8million in the summer of 2014 but missed large chunks of last season with shoulder and ankle injuries.
He has started only 20 matches in all competitions for the Gunners and has watched from the sidelines as Bellerin has showed immense promise since being fast-tracked into the first team 13 months ago.
The likelihood is growing that Wenger will grant Debuchy a January loan move as he has the versatile Calum Chambers available to deputise for Bellerin.