By Harry Sykes
Arsenal have given the green light for Carl Jenkinson to leave the club in a loan-to-buy deal, according to a report.
The Birmingham Mail claim that Aston Villa are hoping to seal the signing of the Premier League defender on a permanent basis.
Football Insider revealed earlier this month that Villa had opened preliminary talks with Arsenal about the transfer of Jenkinson, with discussions centred around him spending the second half of the campaign at Villa Park.
It is now said that Arsenal will sanction a temporary move with a view to a permanent transfer next summer.
There is interest from other clubs in signing Jenkinson but Villa, who also pursued a deal for Arsenal’s Mathieu Debuchy last year, are hopeful of winning the race.
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.
The Championship club are expected to be very active in the market next month as they aim to make a big push towards promotion back to the top flight.
Villa are also reportedly working on deals to sign a goalkeeper and striker, with Manchester United’s Sam Johnstone close to penning terms as Pierluigi Gollini prepares to leave and return to Italy.
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 Aston Villa transfer news, the club have agreed a transfer that is set to be completed on 1 January.