Arsenal and Newcastle in race to sign major midfield bargain

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Newcastle and Arsenal were at the forefront of the race to sign Moussa Sissoko earlier in the season and both must surely continue their chase now that an asking price has been revealed by Toulouse.

Sissoko’s contract is up in the summer and clubs are now able to begin talks towards securing a pre-contract arrangement, when he can be acquired for free.

To avoid this happening, it has been suggested that Toulouse are willing to sell one of their prized assets in the January transfer window and for a major knock-down price of just €3.5m.

Although Sissoko has not totally filled the potential that resulted in him previously being labelled as the next Michael Essien, at this price there is every chance that he could be the biggest bargain of the entire transfer window.

Rather than Essien, clubs should consider Sissoko in a similar mould to West Ham’s Mohamed Diame or Arsenal’s Abou Diaby, constantly harassing the ball and making raiding runs into the penalty box of opposition.

He has been playing further forward for Toulouse this season rather than the deeper position of the past and he could prove an asset to Newcastle alongside a fit duo of fellow Frenchman Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote.

With Diaby rarely fit for any real length of time, Arsenal could also profit from Sissoko, who would represent more of a midfield runner than Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla or Jack Wilshere.

Arsene Wenger may alternatively prefer to drop Sissoko back into his previous deeper position as a late replacement for Alex Song.

If Newcastle sign Sissoko, it will be a big boost to their chances of recovering from a poor start to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season, which they are currently 9/2 to achieve.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.