Arsenal will make a new bid for Douglas Luiz in the January transfer window as they become frustrated with the fitness of Thomas Partey.
The Ghanaian has become injury prone, which makes it hard to rely on him for many games.
The Gunners have Mohamed Elneny as a backup option, but injury has also sidelined the Egyptian.
This leaves Albert Sambi Lokonga as the only defensive-minded midfielder in the squad after Mikel Arteta gave Granit Xhaka a freer role on the pitch.
Partey missed several games before the international window, and he has been injured on duty for Ghana again.
The Sun reports Arsenal is now frustrated with his physical struggles, and they are looking to find a replacement.
Luiz is their prime target for that role, and they tried to sign him for £23m on deadline day.
Aston Villa kept him even though his contract expires in the summer, and he is not interested in signing an extension.
The report says Arsenal will table a new bid for him to solve their midfield crisis, but it would not be as much as they were willing to pay in the summer.
Just Arsenal Opinion
Luiz is a top player, and that is why we wanted to add him to our squad in the last transfer window.
Despite missing out on that transfer, he remains committed to Villa, which shows he has the right attitude as a professional player.