Arsenal were reportedly ready to deploy a scout to the Africa Cup of Nations to compile a dossier on Burkina Faso's Alain Traore, but the Lorient striker has been ruled out for the rest of the competition with a thigh injury.

Traore , 25, had inspired Burkina Faso into the knockout phases of this year's competition, scoring a vital last-gasp leveller in the group encounter with Nigeria, and reports in France now claim he is attracting the attention of Arsenal.

According to French football website MadeInFoot, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had entrusted former Gunners midfielder Gilles Grimandi to run the rule over Traore in South Africa, but this would now seem unlikely to happen.

Burkina Faso's joy at reaching the quarter-finals has been tempered by the news on Traore, who was stretchered off against Zambia on Sunday.

"My AFCON tournament is finished,'' the 25-year-old said, as reported by Sports Illustrated.

"It has been a long wait for us to qualify for the quarterfinals after such a long time, but my injury has spoiled the enjoyment a little.''

Arsenal's scouting network is still likely to cover the AFCON with a keen interest, although Traore's cruel blow may see Wenger prevent one of his most senior scouts from making a concerted effort to go to South Africa.

Premier League