Arsenal are reported to be poised to make a bid for Chelsea’s French defender William Gallas.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is understood to be keen on both Gallas and team-mate John Terry, but Terry would cost at least £12 million while Gallas has a clause in his contract which states he can leave for £7.5 million.

Wenegr regards finding a central defensive partner for Sol Campbell as a his priority for the close season and Gallas, who has established himself as a defender of authority at Stamford Bridge, fits the bill.

Martin Keown, 36, is approaching the end of his career while Frenchman Pascal Cygan has looked out of his depth on his appearances this season.

“We have other costs but there is no point having a new ground if you haven’t got a decent team,” chairman Peter Hill-Wood told the Sun newspaper.

Arsenal, who despite winning the League and FA Cup double, lost £22 million last year. The club’s ambitions on the pitch in danger if being compromised as they try to raise £300 million for a new stadium for 2005.