Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to make decision on £21m star who is 'No 1 target' in January

Arsenal transfer news: Jakub Kiwior is reportedly the No 1 target for AC Milan (Image: GETTY)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will likely have to make a decision on the future of Jakub Kiwior in January. Reports claim AC Milan have made the Poland star their top centre-back target for the upcoming winter transfer window.

Kiwior joined Arsenal in January this year from Serie A club Spezia for a fee of up to £21million. He struggled to get into the side in his early months with the Gunners.

Rob Holding was preferred to the Pole once William Saliba went down with what turned out to be a season-ending back injury. Kiwior eventually replaced Holding but it was too late for Arsenal to recover their title hopes.

A centre-back by trade, he knew when he joined that if Saliba and Gabriel were fit he would find it hard to earn a regular starting spot. Jurrien Timber’s serious knee injury suffered on the opening day of the campaign promoted Kiwior to next in line, if he wasn’t there already.

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Arsenal transfer news: Jakub Kiwior is not a regular starter for the Gunners (Image: GETTY)

But Arteta has started the 23-year-old on just four occasions so far this term. And it appears Milan are hoping to convince him to return to Italy mid-season.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Stefano Pioli wants to sign a central defender in the January window. Kiwior is said to be the No 1 target, though Milan don’t have a big budget for the winter.

The report says they want to sign Kiwior on loan, having been impressed with him during his time in Serie A with Spezia. Milan are also attracted by him being left-footed to provide a different option at the back.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal will entertain any offers for Kiwior but Arteta will have to decide if Milan come calling. His exit would leave them short of numbers at the back going into the second half of the campaign.

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Kiwior spoke in September about the competition he faces at the Emirates. He said at the time that he was willing to fight for his place.

He told Sky Sports: “We have excellent players here. The level of competition is very high. But I’m happy that I am able to compete with such good players. Even if I’m not selected in the starting line-up, I’m trying my best.

“I’m happy whenever I’m able to help the team, so I don’t perceive the competition as something bad. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world and it’s an honour to play for them.”