Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has instructed Magpies owner to accept nothing less than a £12m offer for France international Mathieu Debuchy despite serious interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal, according to the Express.
Debuchy is a strong candidate to replace outgoing Bacar Sagna as Arsenal's new first-choice right-back, a stance which has improved considerably by a World Cup campaign which has seen France boss Didier Deschamps pick the Newcastle man to start in three out of four matches to date.
Wenger has included Debuchy on a shortlist of right-back targets and is prepared to pay £9m for a proven Premier League commodity, but Newcastle are prepared to play hardball in negotiations and believe their World Cup star is worth at least £3m more than that valuation.
Wenger vs. Pardew
With Arsenal and Newcastle on collision course over another French star its worth remembering what happened last summer, when the Gunners came calling for Yohan Cabaye.
Newcastle's plans for an opening-weekend clash with Manchester City were thrown into chaos by Arsenal's chase for a new playmaker, with Pardew giving an opening £10m short shrift, viewing that bid as derisory and making it very clear the Magpies would not roll over and allow their best player to leave on the cheap.
Cabaye was made to wait six months and eventually wrapped up a dream switch to Paris Saint-Germain, while Wenger turned his attention to a club-record £42.4m move for Mesut Ozil.
Expect Pardew and Ashley to show similar resolve in negotiations over Debuchy though, who much like Cabaye has expressed an ambition to play Champions League football next season.
Wenger is also famed for being particularly prudent when it comes to thrashing out a deal for any new arrival at the Emirates, so expect Arsenal to move on rather than be fazed by Newcastle's demands if it comes to a straight choice.
Wenger has also been tracking Ivory Coast full-back Serge Aurier very closely during the World Cup and during an impressive season in Ligue 1 for Toulouse, with the 21-year-old an eye-catching, powerful presence in both halves and possessing the raw potential to play at a higher level.
Aurier is available for around £7m, while Wenger could yet still hand a career lifeline to Manchester City misfit Micah Richards, who has seen a promising career fizzle towards mediocrity in recent years.
World Cup distraction
Wenger has been refused to be rushed in the transfer market so far this summer, working as a pundit in Brazil for French television while mixing a holiday with a scouting trip aimed towards spending a £100m transfer warchest.
The Gunners boss has watched Debuchy up close and personal on three occasions over the last fortnight, but is now acutely aware that if those performances have been good enough to warrant a formal offer it needs to be £12m, or the deal will most likely not go through.