Arsenal line up Cabaye alternative

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Arsenal have identified St Etienne midfielder Josuha Guilavogui as their fall-back option should they fail to land Newcastle star Yohan Cabaye, according to the Daily Mail.

The France international has two caps for his country, and plays as a defensive midfielder in Ligue 1.

The report claims Cabaye remains Arsene Wenger's top target, but Newcastle insist their French playmaker is not for sale.

So the Arsenal boss has moved to identify potential alternatives to Cabaye, with French duo Geoffrey Kondogbia and Guilavogui on his radar.

22-year-old Guilavogui has made more than 90 appearances for St Etienne since breaking through into the first-team four years ago.

And he's the kind of player Wenger might look to sign to play at the base of the Arsenal midfield.

The Gunners haven't replaced Alex Song since he departed for Barcelona, with Mikel Arteta most often deployed in the deep-lying role as part of a three-man Arsenal midfield.

But injury to the Spaniard in preseason has underlined Arsenal's reliance on him, with Wenger thought to be keen to bring in another central midfielder.

That prompted his first £12m bid for Cabaye, which was promptly rejected by Newcastle. Magpies boss Alan Pardew remains adamant that Cabaye will stay at the club, but reports have linked with Gunners with a second improved offer.

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