Arsene Wenger has hinted at a move for West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame by praising the Senegalese international’s ability to have a ‘big impact’ in games.
Wenger is reportedly keen to add some steel to his midfield after successive inconsistent performances in defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, with Diame believed to be one of the Frenchman’s main targets.
The 25-year-old has impressed since joining West Ham after being released by Wigan in the summer, and is said to be available for a cut-price £3.5 million thanks to a release-clause written into his contract.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce admitted over the weekend that the East London club are yet to agree a new contract with Diame that would eliminate the release clause, fuelling more speculation the dynamic midfielder could be hankering for a move to Arsenal.
Wenger confirmed his liking for the player in a press conference held this morning.
"He has a great presence in the games,” he said. “I have seen him have a big impact."
While Wenger was willing to talk up Diame he quashed rumours of a move for Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha.
Arsenal were expected to challenge Manchester United for the England’s starlet signature, and while Wenger himself admitted the Gunners were interested in him in the past, he said today that no bid has been made, nor will it ever be.
"If Zaha goes to Manchester United, good luck to him," Wenger said. "We were never in for him. Never."
The Gunners currently sit in 6th place, seven points behind rivals Tottenham who occupy the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot, with a game in hand against West Ham to come on Wednesday.