Arsenal are willing to make a cash-plus-player offer for West Ham United defender Matthew Upson. The Daily Mail says it is thought the Gunners are preparing a move for Upson with striker Nicklas Bendtner being offered to Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola as part of the deal.

Upson, who missed West Ham's 3-0 FA Cup win over Barnsley with a virus, is also rumoured to be wanted by Aston Villa but, despite the club's financial problems, chief executive Scott Duxbury is adamant that Upson will not be leaving during this month's transfer window.

Duxbury, though, has had talks with both Upson and his agent, during which the former Arsenal and Birmingham defender has made it clear he is enjoying his football and is happy to stay. Zola is also keen to keep Upson, who has been West Ham's most consistent performer this season.