Florian Thauvin and Stephane Sparagna on Arsene Wenger’s radar.
Arsenal are eyeing a double January raid on early Ligue 1 pacesetters Olympique Marseille, report the Daily Star, after they raced to the top of the French top flight courtesy of a lightning start under the new management of the enigmatic former Athletic Bilbao and Chile manager Marcelo Bielsa.
The goals of Andre Pierre Gignac have been perhaps the most significant difference for Marseille after a dreadful 2013/14 campaign, but it is the performances of two fine young talents that have attracted admiring glances from Arsene Wenger, with the Gunners considering moves for both in the January transfer window.
The first player is young defender Stephane Sparagna, who has been drafted into the team from nowhere by Bielsa this season and has grasped his opportunity, but is yet to extend a contract that only expires in December – potentially allowing Wenger and Arsenal to steal in and secure his signature on a free transfer once the January transfer window opens.
Potentially more exciting for Arsenal fans, however, is the prospect of attacking midfielder Florian Thauvin, with the France Under 21 international having started the season in electric form, meaning that Marseille fans have quickly forgotten the departure of long-serving playmaker Mathieu Valbuena to Russia – Thauvain reportedly turned down Inter Milan this summer and is in no hurry to leave the Stade Velodrome, but could be persuaded by the Premier League.