Arsenal are pondering a move for Newcastle's 26-year-old midfielder Cheick Tiote as a possible replacement for Alex Song, after he signed for La Liga giants Barcelona this week.

The Ivory Coast international has a growing list of admirers including both Chelsea and Manchester United who have expressed an interest in the player before now.

But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to fill the hole left by Song's departure and see's Tiote as the ideal fitment. 

However, Newcastle will be keen to keep hold of both of their key midfielders Tiote and Yohan Cabaye as interest mounts for them. Manager Alan Pardew admitted that he is expecting a fight on his hands in the remaining days of the transfer window in order to keep hold of his star players. 

Wenger is an admirer of the tough tackling holding midfielder and would be willing to splash some of the cash raised by the sale of former captain Robin Van Persie to Manchester United and Song to Barcelona. 

Tiote is rated as one of the top defensive midfielders in the game at the moment and has a great ability to read the game, intercept the play and turn defence into attack. 

He's made 51 appearances for Newcastle since 2010 and is a fans favourite. At international level he has also been a key player playing 31 times since 2009. 

Arsenal will now contemplate testing Newcastle's reserve on the player and whether to wade in with an official approach. The transfer clock keeps ticking.