Chelsea scouts run rule over £12m Arsenal target

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Chelsea appear to be monitoring a known transfer target of Premier League title rivals Arsenal.

According to French newspaper La Provence, scouts of Chelsea - along with fellow top-flight sides Manchester City and Aston Villa - were present at Marseille's Champions League encounter with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday evening, with one of the subjects of the Blues' attention believed to be midfield starlet Florian Thauvin.

20-year-old Thauvin joined Marseille from fellow Ligue 1 outfit Lille for a fee of around £12 million this summer, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted to holding an interest in the France U21 international prior to the Gunners' last meeting with José Anigo's side last month.

Marseille eventually lost the game against their German counterparts this week, with a late goal from Kevin Großkreutz enough to secure a 2-1 win the visitors.

Whether Chelsea were particularly impressed with what they saw from Thauvin - who was replaced after 79 minutes - at the Stade Velodrome, is obviously largely unclear at this stage. 

While Thauvin is undoubtedly an exciting prospect, it seems somewhat bizarre that Jose Mourinho would be prioritising a move for another attacking midfielder at present, with Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Juan Mata interchanging ahead of Ramires and Frank Lampard in midfield.

Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne - who joined Chelsea last January - is currently the subject of intense transfer speculation, with the root cause of a potential move believing to be the player's unhappiness with a lack of first-team action at Stamford Bridge.

Similarly, it could well be argued that Arsenal have no real need for yet another attacking midfielder.

Following the arrival for Mesut Ozil for a club-record fee in January and the likes of Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski all currently competing for the roles behind the formidable presence of lone frontman Olivier Giroud. 

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