M’Vila tops Arsenal’s shortlist, Arteta and Dempsey also feature

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Arsenal’ search for new midfielders to replace Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri has led to a hatful of names being linked with the Emirates, although it is unlikely that any more than two will sign.

The Gunners seem short on experienced cover for Alex Song in the holding midfield position and it seems that France international Yann M’Vila is their leading target.

However, for a manager often reluctant to part with large sums, it may require Arsene Wenger to spend close to £25m to convince Rennes to sell.

This would break Arsenal’s club record, but with the 21-year-old both highly regarded and with a long future ahead of him, Wenger may see this as money well spent.

A raid on cash-strapped Everton may also develop, with Arsenal interested in both Mikel Arteta and Marouane Fellaini.

Arteta is considered to have similar playmaking capabilities to Fabregas, while Fellaini would add some presence and physicality to a slightly lightweight midfield.

In terms of some added creativity to replace Nasri, Napoli’s Marek Hamsik could prove the answer after Arsenal failed in their approach for Lille’s Eden Hazard.

But Napoli will be reluctant to sell one of their biggest stars with a Champions League campaign ahead of them this season.

A more possible alternative would be Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, who not only has an eye for goal but will bring with him a wealth of Premier League experience.

Dempsey has aspirations to play in the Champions League and it is believed that talks have been ongoing between the two clubs for over a week, although an asking price is yet to be agreed as Fulham hold out for close to £10m.

Arsenal certainly need to have a busy day if they wish to finish in the top four this season, which can currently be backed at 6/4 in the Premier League odds.

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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.