Gunners have been scouting the Italian since the start of the year.
Premier League leaders Arsenal are set to go head to head with big-spending Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint-Germain in the fight to win the signature of AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate, according to reports in the Daily Express.
The north London club are known to be on the lookout at present for a new right back with doubts continuing to grow over the future of France international Bacary Sagna at the Emirates.
Sagna has a contract with the Gunners that only runs until June 30 2014 and so far the full back has steadfastly refused to pen to paper on a new deal with the club, meaning the player will be eligible to leave the capital on a lucrative free transfer come the end of this campaign.
As a result, it is understood that Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has already started to look at possible targets to replace Sagna at right back next season, with Milan’s Italy international thought to be at the top of the Frenchman’s wish list.
However, Arsenal know that they will face a stiff fight to sign the Italian next summer as PSG are also keen on the 27-year-old, whose own contract at San Siro expires in June.