Exclusive: Arsenal in hunt to sign English 22yo in January, £10m+ will seal deal

Arsenal are looking at Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall as a potential January permanent signing, Football Insider can reveal.

Scouts from the London giants watched the centre-back, 22, help his side secure a clean sheet as they thrashed QPR 4-0 in the Championship last night.

An Arsenal source has told Football Insider that Worrall is firmly on their radar ahead of January and he is being assessed for a permanent rather than just a loan deal.

It will not be easy to extract the former England Under-21 international from the City Ground in January.

Forest, who have climbed to fourth in the Championship, have genuine promotion hopes and Worrall’s valuation has increased following the best season of his career.

He is valued way in excess of £10million by the east Midlands outfit, who knocked back a £10million bid for him from Burnley in January of last year.

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Worrall is playing the best football of his career after slipping down the pecking order under former Forest managers Aitor Karanka and Mark Warburton.

He had a mixed season on loan at Glasgow Rangers but has returned to Forest to play the full 90 minutes in all 17 of their Championship games in this campaign.

Arsenal’s defence has been erratic this season, conceding 19 goals from 13 Premier League matches, despite two senior defending signings in the summer.

Premier League winner David Luiz arrived from Chelsea in an £8million deadline day deal, while £25million was spent to bring Kieran Tierney from Celtic.

The regular centre-back pairing of Luiz and Sokratis, who have each started 12 of those 13 top-flight encounters, has not been a convincing one.

In other Arsenal news, it can be REVEALED that the club are in talks with northern club over January transfer as agreement is close.