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Arsenal transfer latest: Gourcuff for Ramsey... Final countdown for new 'Van Persie' Draxler

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger points from the sideline during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's stadium in Southampton, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (AP)

By Football Correspondent with Agencies

As expected Arsene Wenger has left it late.

However, this time Wenger has acknowledged he is facing mounting midfield problems as Arsenal enter a decisive stage in the campaign.

French midfielder Mathieu Flamini will be suspended for at least three matches, ruling him out of Sunday's meeting with Crystal Palace and the clashes against Liverpool and Manchester United, after collecting a red card in the 2-2 draw at Southampton on Tuesday.

And the Arsenal manager revealed Aaron Ramsey has suffered a set-back in his recovery from a thigh problem that forced the Wales midfielder to miss the trip to St Mary's Stadium.

The draw meant Arsenal missed out on the chance to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League table and could head into the next round of fixtures in third place if Manchester City beat Tottenham on Wednesday and Chelsea secure a two-goal margin of victory over West Ham on the same day.

With two days left for the January window to close, Wenger can still sign a player.

The question is, does he go for cover in midfield or another striker – as the Emirates is expecting.

To read latest Arsenal transfer news on  Draxler click here…

Wenger might have to consider the transfer rumours that have linked Arsenal to France attacking midfielder Yoann Gourcuff this week.

Ramsey is expected to at least miss the visit of Palace and Wenger said: "He is out for longer than expected because he had a little set-back in training yesterday so I couldn't bring him here.

"It's the same muscle, but faded again. So we have to be cautious when we bring him back."

Wenger agreed the loss of the two players would stretch his midfield resources, but he refused to condemn Flamini, who was dismissed in the 80th minute for a two-footed challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin.

"Look we have to see it again, to me it looked harsh. He got the ball," Wenger said.

"At some stage we all have all the feet off the ground. If you say every time a guy makes two-footed tackle its red, he deserved a red.

"If you say it was a violent tackle, I would say no. I don't know, the referee made the decision and we have to cope with it."