Despite Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa seemingly being on the verge of joining Newcastle, there remain reports that Arsenal could make a late bid to take him to the Emirates.
Various sources have claimed that Yanga-Mbiwa, 23, is set to have a medical at Newcastle on Monday ahead of a £6.7 million deal. But the Daily Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger is still considering whether to make a formal offer for the France international.
Yanga-Mbiwa has been frequently linked to Arsenal over the past year as he captained Montpellier to their first ever Ligue 1 title last season. A central defender who is also capable of playing at right back, Yanga-Mbiwa has been a regular in the France setup this campaign.
With Johan Djourou having left on loan and Sebastien Squillaci also potentially on the way out, another defender may well be on the agenda for Arsenal boss Wenger in this month’s transfer window.
At this late stage, though, it appears that Yanga-Mbiwa will not be his man.
Yanga-Mbiwa is not the only France international linked with the Gunners in recent day, with reports continuing of the club’s interest in Lyon’s Yoann Gourcuff.
According to the Daily Mail, the attacking midfielder is said to have been offered to Arsenal on loan as Lyon look to get his £80,000-a-week wages off their books.
Gourcuff, once considered the natural heir to Zinedine Zidane with France, has endured an injury-ravaged campaign. Yet, Lyon have once again insisted that they have no immediate plans to move the 26-year-old former Milan man on.
"Until June he will definitely remain here, then we will discuss his future,” said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, according to Sky Sports.
"He has been injured and this is not the time to talk about a move to another club."
Arsenal would appear to have a greater need for a more dynamic midfield presence. Wenger has been effusive in his praise for the physical attributes that Abou Diaby brings to the side, yet it would again be a risk to depend on the injury-plagued France international.
A bargain priced alternative for Diaby could be West Ham’s Mohamed Diame. Arsenal have been strongly linked with the 25-year-old, who has a release clause in his contract worth just £3.5 million. West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has admitted that they have had no luck trying to move the clause, inserted when he moved on a free transfer from Wigan in the summer.
“The owners have tried to renegotiate the contract, but they haven’t been successful at the moment,” Allardyce said, according to Metro.
Arsenal are also said to be one of the clubs looking at highly-rated Guingamp midfielder Gilbert Imbula. The 20-year-old has attracted plenty of attention for his performances with the Ligue 2 outfit.
The Daily Mail reports that both Chelsea and Lyon are keen on Imbula, but that Arsenal also want the defensive midfielder. Imbula, who made his debut at just 17 years of age, is said to be valued at £8 million.