Since Alex Song’s Arsenal departure last summer, Arsene Wenger has failed to sign a defensive midfielder to fill the void left by the Cameroonian international.
And though the Barcelona anchor man’s availability has now become apparent, Wenger is ready to snub the chance to bring his former enforcer back to the Emirates.
Instead, the Gunners will step up their pursuit of Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, who has also attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
The Kenyan powerhouse has produced a string of impressive displays this term, with his sterling Champions League performances particularly pleasing.
And as such, the 21-year-old is a preferable option for Wenger, who was believed to be angered by Song’s attitude in training prior to his exit for the Nou Camp last summer.
Therefore, the Gunners chief will not entertain the idea of re-signing the £15m-rated player, even though Song is keen on a move back to North London.
He is willing to stump up around £10m for the enthusiastic Wanyama though, whose considerable resale value he deems hugely attractive.
The opportunity to nurture and develop the box-to-box performer’s talents are also a massive plus point for the Arsenal boss, who will look to steal a march on his rivals for the player’s signature this close-season.
And the guaranteed first-team football Wenger can offer the Kenyan could prove a defining factor in determining the youngster’s future.
Indeed, whilst the chance to win trophies may come more readily at United, a switch to the Gunners may be wisest for Wanyama from a personal standpoint, in order to best aid his development with regular first-team action.
He is not the only player Wenger is set to make a move for this summer however, with Auxerre striker Yaya Sanogo also on the Frenchman’s radar.
A French under-21 international, Sanogo is set to sign a pre-contract at the Emirates, meaning Arsenal will have to pay in the region of just £300k for one of the world’s hottest attacking prospects.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.