Arsenal are thin at full back due to injuries, and might become thin at wing if there is truth to recent transfer speculation.

On Tuesday, Metro reported Andrey Arshavin may be closer than ever in leaving Emirates, with Zenit St Petersburg and Chelsea among the frontrunners to land the veteran winger. The 30-year-old Russian has admitted to being out of form, but is frustrated by his lack of playing time and would consider moving on to another club.

Due to next month's African Cup of Nations Cup, Arsenal will be without Gervinho, who has been a consistent starter this season after arriving over the summer. The Ivory Coast star could miss as many as 10 matches, as the tournament starts on Jan. 21 and ends on Feb. 12.

Arshavin could play a prominent role for the the Gunners in Gervinho's absence. It would be an opportunity for the winger to prove to Arsene Wenger that he should be in the lineup more often.

However, if Arshavin is moved in January it would likely pave the way for more playing time for Chu Young Park, who has been used sparingly this season. Wenger also has Tomas Rosicky and Yossi Benayoun available, though neither is a natural winger.

It is unclear how active Wenger will be in the January transfer period. There has been wide speculation that striker Marouane Chamakh, who is a target of multiple Ligue 1 clubs, will also exit Emirates. Daily Mirror recently reported that both Arshavin and Chamakh are likely on their way out in January.

Arshavin's contract expires in 2013, and he is paid £85,000 per week.

Arsenal have a much-anticipated clash with Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Jan. 22. The last time the two clubs played the Gunners were embarrassed, 8-2, at Old Trafford.