Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has singled out Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue as his next midfield star, and is preparing a £10million bid for the plater.
The Gunners’ manager sees the French Under-21 international as an alternative to the Emirates club’s main transfer target, midfield enforcer Yann M’Vila, who is being priced out of Arsenal’s range by Rennes.
Capoue, considered to be of a similar style to M’Vila, operates mainly in a defensive midfield role but is comfortable playing in defence. However, he is not shy of coming forward, illustrated by his three goals this season in Ligue 1.
The 23-year-old would provide vital cover in an Arsenal midfield that is without Jack Wilshere until February. There have also been reports that both Barcelona and Inter Milan are tracking Alex Song, and a move for the Toulouse man could be forward planning by Wenger.
The 6’2” Capoue was the in high demand before signing a youth contract with Toulouse in 2005, with a number of Ligue 1’s top clubs vying for his signature.
Wenger may have to go up against Lazio and Barcelona to get his man though, as both clubs are reported to have been tracking the player before the Arsenal interest was known. His contract runs out in 2014.