Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish has revealed he has failed in a bid to extend the loan stay of Arsenal's Johan Djourou.
McLeish was hoping to keep the 20-year-old defender at St Andrew's until the end of the season.
However, with Gunners defender Kolo Toure set to miss several matches while away on international duty with Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations, Djourou is wanted back at the Emirates Stadium.
Djourou has made 13 appearances for the Blues since his arrival in August.
"Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has told me he's taking him back in January," McLeish told the Birmingham Mail.
"He will be a loss, for sure. It's disappointing that he isn't going to be with us for much longer, but you have to respect Arsenal's decision.
"Johan is a big presence of a boy, no doubt about that, and those kind of players seem to be a feature of many a squad in the Premier League."