Arsenal prepare bid for Newcastle midfielder Tiote

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Arsenal are looking to replace the £15m Alex Song shaped hole in their midfield by acquiring the services of Newcastle’s tough tackling Cheick Tiote.

The Gunners need to add another defensive midfielder to their squad, and Tiote could be just the man they need to retain their place in the top four this season, currently priced at 8/11.

Chelsea and Manchester City have previously been rebuffed in their attempt to sign the Ivory Coast international, with Newcastle thought to value their asset at around £20m.

While Wenger will be unlikely to want to spend more than the club received for Song, the French tactician is aware that a high quality replacement is necessary.

With injury-prone Abou Diaby currently lining up alongside Mikel Arteta in the withdrawn central midfield roles for Arsenal, experienced back-up in defensive midfield is not present.

Youngsters Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong are both still learning at the highest level, with Frimpong recovering from a nasty cruciate injury suffered last season whilst on loan at Wolves.

Therefore Tiote would represent a crucial addition for Arsenal, who would offer to improve upon the 26-year-old’s reported £40,000 a week contract on Tyneside.

Whether Newcastle will be willing to let such a key player leave is uncertain, although Wenger has other options if Tiote does stay at the Sports Direct Arena.

A deal for French international Yann M’Vila could be resurrected by the Gunners, who were heavily linked with the 22-year-old earlier in the summer but put off by Rennes’ £17m valuation.

Etienne Capoue could be a cheaper alternative than M’Vila yet, with the Toulouse stopper priced at closer to £10m.

Arsenal are set for a busy end to the transfer market, as they were last summer, but the Gunners boss has insisted he is only in the market for ‘special players’.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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