Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly ready to make a winter move for James McCarthy after scouting the Everton midfielder for the last three months.
The 24-year-old midfielder was heavily linked with a move for the defensive midfielder in the summer of 2013, but McCarthy, who was then at Wigan Athletic, chose to be reunited with his former boss Roberto Martinez at Everton instead.
Despite losing out on his signature in 2013, Wenger is still believed to be interested in the midfielder and due to this reason he has reportedly been sending scouts to monitor the player's progress for the last three months.
And according to the Irish Independent, the 65-year-old French boss is now ready to make a move for McCarthy when the winter transfer window opens on Saturday.
Although the Toffees will be very reluctant to let the Irish midfielder leave, due to him being one of the most consistent performers at Goodison Park, Arsenal are confident that they can convince Everton to part with McCarthy in January.
However, the midfielder will certainly not come cheap as he has become ever better at Everton, attracting the attention of a lot of other clubs including Inter Milan and Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says that he and his teammates are "massively disappointed" following the Gunners' 0-2 loss at Southampton.
Crippled without their regular strikes, strikers Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud (who missed out due to an injury and a suspension respectively), the North London side were very disappointing against the Saints and this resulted in them recording their first defeat at the Saint Mary's courtesy of strikes from Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic.
And Mertesacker admits that he and his teammates were shattered after the defeat
"We are massively disappointed because there was a good chance to really bounce back properly but they deserved to win because they did a bit more than us," the German defender told Arsenal's official website.
"The last two games we were in good spirits and those games were close together and we fought really hard for the two wins. But today was slightly different. I think we have to come back to our main strength. But we didn't show up with a good performance today. We have to remind ourselves every day that we need to have a big performance."