The Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to make a bold bid for Newcastle United star Chieck Tiote in the final days of the summer transfer window.
The report suggests Wenger is confident of landing the Ivory Coast ace for around £15 million. Signing Tiote would be a major coup for Wenger and the perfect way to conclude an active transfer window for the Gunners.
Since the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona, questions have been raised about Arsenal's options in midfield. Tiote is the kind of aggressive ball-winner the Gunners currently lack.
In fact, as a defensive midfielder, Tiote would be an upgrade over Song. The Cameroon standout was an inconsistent tackler and dispalyed sub-par positional insitncts during his time in North London.
Tiote meanwhile, has risen to prominence as a stout defensive midfield anchor. He is rugged in the challenge and smartly distrubes the ball once he has won possession.
Arsenal's more natural ball-players like Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, would benefit from Tiote's presence. He would handle the defensive responsibilities and free the Spanish duo to concentrate on probing for openings in the attacking third.
Tiote's experience in the Enlgish Premier League would also make him a great asset. He is used to the physical style and would need no time to adapt.
That experience is something Arsenal fans are painfully familiar with. It was Tiote who scored a stunning equaliser to cap Newcastle's famous fightback in February, 2011.
Arsenal had been 4-0 ahead, before the Magpies eventually levelled the scores with Tiote's wonder strike. However, all would certainly be forgiven if Tiote agreed to bring his particular skills to aid Arsenal's cause this season.