Emirates Stadium side target top quality midfield talent.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is said to be taking a keen interest in Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, who has been in excellent form this term, helping his Stade Velodrome side to mount a genuine Ligue 1 title challenge.
Wenger is keen to freshen up his squad and feels that pint sized Valbuena could add some much needed bite to help add balance to a side that lacks a tough tackling midfielder.
The 28 year old has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Valbuena’s agent moving to quash talk of a possible move to join his fellow French international team-mates at Newcastle United. A move to Arsenal on the other hand may prove more of a temptation for the experienced battler.
Arsene Wenger would be keen to lure Valbuena this month but failing that will push to sign the Marseille man in the summer.
Valbuena is into his seventh season at the South of France side and is something of a fan favourite with L’OM fans. Despite his stature he is an incredible tough character to force off the ball and links midfield to attack expertly.
His ability to weigh in with goals and assists with regularity makes him an ideal box to box performer who Wenger feels could fill the void left by Alex Song, who left to join Barcelona following a season at the Emirates Stadium where the Cameroon intenational showed that he was more than just a mere enforcer.
Wenger will hope such an addition can offer protection to his out and out creative talents, buying them time and space on the ball. Such a signing could also leave Mikel Arteta to resume his usual role as a forward thinking talent, having thus far this term been used in an unaccustomed holding role.
Marseille would be loathed to lose such a key performer and any move for Valbuena would have to involve a fairly hefty bid by the North London club.
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