Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given the green light to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin this summer, despite the impressive recent form of Francis Coquelin.
This is according Goal, who understand Arsenal have decided to push ahead with plans to sign the £20 million-rated France international.
Wenger feels Schneiderlin will help Arsenal to close the gap between themselves and Premier League leaders Chelsea ahead of a potential title challenge next season.
United and Chelsea could join race
However, Arsenal could face stiff competition for the 25-year-old, who was denied the chance to join his former manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham last summer.
Both Manchester United and Chelsea are understood to be monitoring Schneiderlin’s situation and could yet enter a bidding war for the midfield enforcer who joined Southampton from Strasbourg back in 2008.
Bad news for Coquelin
Should Arsenal succeed in their pursuit of Schneiderlin, though, Coquelin could find himself demoted to the substitutes’ bench.
The 23-year-old, who has yet to represent France at senior level, signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners in February after impressing at the Emirates Stadium following his loan re-call from Charlton Athletic.
However, Goal understand Wenger remains wary of Coquelin’s inexperience and doesn’t want Arsenal to be caught out again by another injury crisis next season.
Southampton are sure to do everything in their power to keep hold of Schneiderlin, but with the player keen to compete in the Champions League and challenge for major trophies, it seems likely that he will leave St Mary’s for a top Premier League club this summer.
Arsenal fans: would you rather have Francis Coquelin or Morgan Schneiderlin in your starting line-up? Have your say in the comments below!