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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Aston Villa have opened preliminary talks with Arsenal about signing out-of-favour defender Mathieu Debuchy, Football Insider sources understand.
Villa manager Remi Garde wants to sign Debuchy on a loan deal until the end of the season and Arsene Wenger has admitted that the Frenchman could leave in the January window.
France international Debuchy needs regular first-team action to guarantee himself a place in Didier Deschamps’ Euro 2016 squad.
The ex-Newcastle man has lost his place to Hector Bellerin at Arsenal and a Gunners source has told Football Insider that Garde is willing to offer his fellow Frenchman the chance to prove himself at Villa Park.
The Villa manager admitted on Wednesday that he is trying to attract a group of players to the Midlands, including Chelsea striker Loic Remy.
“Loic is special because he knows the country and the league and he would be an interesting player for the team,” Garde said. “He is part of some players I’ll try to attract to Aston Villa, for sure.”
The Premier League’s bottom club, who are nine points adrift of safety, have approached Arsenal to enquire about Debuchy’s availability.
Football Insider revealed on 19 October that Debuchy will ask for a winter transfer if he remains second choice to Bellerin.
Asked about being second in line to Bellerin, the 30-year-old said: “I am dealing with it. I am trying to stay strong. We are going to remain concentrated until December, after that I will see.”
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 12 months ago.
It remains to be seen whether the Arsenal manager would grant Debuchy a departure, even on loan, in January.
Although Wenger tends not to rotate his defenders and has Calum Chambers and on-loan Carl Jenkinson as alternatives for the position, he values the Frenchman’s experience and will be hopeful that he can regain the form that made him France’s first-choice right-back at the 2014 World Cup.