Report: Arsenal to pursue United's Bailly, Chelsea's Cahill in January
John Peters / Manchester United / Getty

Arsenal could focus their attention on a pair of Premier League outcasts when they attempt to add defensive reinforcements in January.

The club's identified center-backs Eric Bailly and Gary Cahill of Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively, as possible targets heading into the January transfer window, sources told ESPN FC's Mark Ogden.

Bailly's opportunities have decreased dramatically under Jose Mourinho, as the manager's preferred to deploy Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, and Phil Jones at the back. But United are reportedly against selling the Ivorian international - who moved to Old Trafford from Villarreal for a £30-million fee in 2016 - and would rather offload Argentina defender Marcos Rojo.

Cahill may be the more realistic option for Arsenal after the Chelsea captain reportedly received permission to leave on loan in January. His contract with Chelsea ends next summer, but the club may opt against letting Cahill join a Premier League rival.

Unai Emery's dealt with a defensive headache at Arsenal for much of the season, though Laurent Koscielny will soon return after missing six months with an Achilles injury.

Rob Holding was the latest to be ruled out long term, as the center-back could be sidelined for up to nine months with a ruptured ACL.

Arsenal are tied with Chelsea but sit behind the Blues on goal differential after accumulating 34 points in 16 matches. The Gunners wrap up their Europa League group stage campaign Thursday at the Emirates Stadium against Qarabag.

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Report: Arsenal to pursue United's Bailly, Chelsea's Cahill in January
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