Arsenal identify midfield target but Everton are holding firm

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It’s likely to be the signing that takes us all the way through to the 11pm deadline as Arsenal finally make their move for Everton’s Mikel Arteta.

The Arsenal board have prepared a £10m offer for Arteta and Everton are unlikely to accept that, but negotiations are likely to continue throughout the evening.

Despite saying this afternoon that Arteta was not for sale, sources close to the club and the player are suggesting that should Arteta agree personal details with Arsenal, Everton will be willing to do a deal with Arsenal.

The price will have to be right though and Everton will be hoping to get somewhere closer to £13m for the 29-year-old midfielder.

Arsenal have already confirmed the signings of Park Chu-Young, Andre Santos and Per Mertesacker today in deals that have cost the club around £16m, and all that remains for Arsenal in this transfer window is the signing of a midfielder.

Earlier we reported that French international Yann M’Villa was an Arsenal target and there are still people who believe Arsenal want two midfielders before the transfer window shuts tonight.

But Arteta has become the priority for Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board will be working through the evening to land the midfielder.

Yossi Benayoun could become the second midfielder to join Arsenal and the Chelsea player is currently 5/2 to join Arsenal.

The players representatives have confirmed Benayoun will be either a Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool or Arsenal player by the time the transfer window shuts tonight.

Following their 8-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United last Sunday, Arsenal have upped their game in the transfer window and they have been the most active club today.

Whether the signings will see punters place their faith in Arsenal remains to be seen and Wenger’s side remain 6/4 to finish in the top four this season.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.