While Arsene Wenger has hinted that he has already made provisions for the departure of Robin van Persie, the Arsenal manager admits that he will need to reenter the transfer market in order to cover for the loss of Alex Song to Barcelona.

Although the Cameroon international was seen as a defensive midfielder, he often lacked the discipline to provide consistent cover for his defenders. At the same time, though, Song was a valuable presence, contributing 11 assists in the Premier League last season. With Arsenal seemingly having failed in their attempts to land the playmaker Nuri Sahin, there is much fascination to see with what kind of player Wenger will elect to replace Song.

Here are five of the leading candidates:

Yann M'Vila (Rennes)

A strong defensive midfielder who also possesses the passing ability to fit into Arsenal's possession-based philosophy, M'Vila has been linked with a move to the Gunners for much of the summer. Wenger's interest in the 22-year-old was said to have cooled, however, due to a dip in form as well as various disciplinary problems both on and off the pitch, including at Euro 2012.

The departure of Alex Song may have reignited interest, with Arsenal speculated to be one of three clubs that Rennes have claimed made an approach for the France international.

Etienne Capoue (Toulouse)

Like M'Vila, Capoue is one of the most promising defensive midfielders in France. The 24-year-old Toulouse star looks set for a big future having made his debut for France during Didier Deschamps' first game in charge in a friendly against Uruguay last week.

Capoue was linked to Arsenal earlier in the summer and is also said to have admirers at Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers.

Lewis Holtby (Schalke)

This one may be slightly from left field, but Germany international Holtby-who has an English father-has claimed that he would love to move to Arsenal one day due to his admiration for their approach to the game. The feeling is said to be reciprocated too, with reports earlier in the summer suggesting that Arsenal were monitoring the 21-year-old.

Something of an all-action midfielder, Holtby was deployed mainly in a defensive midfield role last season having begun his career in a more offensive role.

Victor Wanyama (Celtic)

The powerful Kenyan is said to have been watched by scouts of both Arsenal and Manchester United last season. The 21-year-old arrived from Belgian side Beerschot last summer and made an immediate impression in Glasgow.

The chances of Wanyama joining the Gunners this summer may have greatly diminished, though, after he played for Celtic in the Champions League qualifying rounds making him ineligible to play in the competition for another club until the knockout phase.

Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht)

One of the main names linked with as a replacement for Song, Biglia is said to have been interesting both Arsenal and Real Madrid in recent times. With the Argentina international claiming that he is keen to leave Belgium and is available for a far from excessive €8 million (£6.3m), a move could still happen this summer.

At 26, Biglia is not as young as some of the alternatives and there may also be some doubt about his ability to play at the very highest level having spent six years in Belgium following his move from Independiente. Not overly tough in the tackle, Biglia is a proficient reader of the game and a calm distributor in front of the back four.