Mikel Arteta hints he wants to sign a defender amid Mykola Matviyenko transfer speculation

Mikel Arteta's defensive options at Arsenal have been limited by injuries
Mikel Arteta’s defensive options at Arsenal have been limited by injuries (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has hinted he wants to sign a defender before the transfer window closes, amid speculation he is interested in Mykola Matviyenko.

The Ukraine international is said to have caught the eye of Arsenal’s new head coach during a Champions League clash between Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk last season.

City failed to act on the recommendation of Pep Guardiola’s former assistant and Arsenal, according to Matviyenko’s agent, are already in talks to sign the 23-year-old.

Calum Chambers will miss the rest of the season following the cruciate knee ligament injury he picked up against Chelsea last month, while Rob Holding has been gently eased back into the first team picture following a similar setback.

Although William Saliba will join Arsenal in the summer following his season-long loan at St Etienne, doubts remain over the long-term futures of David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, while Arteta recently complained that defensive mistakes were bound to occur while he is reliant on makeshift full-backs Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

‘I’m not going to be discussing any transfer links publicly,’ he said when asked directly about interest in Matviyenko

‘It is something we are trying to internally and when we have news we will communicate with you guys.

‘We have been looking at different positions obviously since I joined.

‘We lost Calum and we had other circumstances and injuries in those positions so it’s true that at the back we have been short

‘But there are other positions as well depending on what happens in the market that we might need to assess.’

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