Mathieu Flamini might be doing a solid job for Arsenal at the moment, but the Frenchman is likely to leave the club in the summer, with Arsene Wenger desperate to land Victor Wanyama from Southampton.
A defensive midfielder is thought to be essential for Arsenal in the January transfer window, with Francis Coquelin suffering a long-term injury.
However, Wenger's first choice is thought to be Wanyama, and the midfielder will not be allowed to leave by Southampton midway through the season.
Therefore, Wenger is likely to look at other options in the defensive midfield department in January, but that will not stop the Arsenal manager from signing, or at least trying to sign, Wanyama at the end of the season.
Southampton are reluctant to let their main players leave and having turned down a bid for the Kenya international from Tottenham last summer, they will try their utmost to keep the tough-tackling midfielder next season as well, even if Arsenal believe a £20million bid should do the trick, according to the Daily Mirror.
If Wanyama, who will lineup against Arsenal in the Boxing Day clash on Saturday, does come in next summer, Flamini, who has been pretty good in the absence of Coquelin, could make way, with the midfielder's contract running out at the end of the season.
Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are also out of contract and likely to leave, leaving Wenger to strengthen that position at the end of the season, even if the manager brings in a defensive midfielder in January.
One of the options for Wenger in January, assuming Wanyama remains unavailable, is Mohamed Elneny, the FC Basel midfielder who has been watched by several top clubs, including Arsenal.
Ruben Neves and William Carvalho have also been widely scouted this season, but Elneny will be a cheaper option, especially if Wanyama is indeed the man Wenger wants as the primary option for that position.