Arsenal have entered into early talks over a possible deal to sign Morgan Schneiderlin, the young Southampton midfielder.
The Gunners have been frequently linked with the budding French international throughout the summer and, according to the latest reports from Goal, the club have now entered into preliminary discussions with the Saints over his transfer.
With Arsene Wenger evidently on the lookout for an extra physical but technically adequate presence to add to his already strong midfield unit, Schneiderlin would appear to fit the bill perfectly.
While the 24-year-old obviously doesn't have nearly the same sort of top-level of experience as Real Madrid's Sami Khedira, he has shone at Premier League level at St Mary's and would obviously need no time whatsoever to adapt to the pace of English football.
Schneiderlin made 33 domestic appearances during what was a hugely successful 2013/14 campaign for the Saints under Mauricio Pochettino, leading the midfield and linking seamlessly with the likes of Adam Lallana on the South Coast.
Watch: The latest Arsenal transfer news
Successfully obtaining Schneiderlin's services for a reasonable price could prove somewhat tricky for Arsenal however.
As is inevitably the case for a club not widely considered as worthy of a place in the top tier of European football in terms of prestige, finances and reputation, Southampton's talented squad have been attracting advances from all angles since the climax of last season.
With gifted England starlet Luke Shaw having moved to Manchester United, Lallana and Merseyside native Rickie Lambert having joined Liverpool and the likes of Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers also linked with respective exits, it stands to reason that new Saints boss Ronald Koeman will be eager to hold out for as much money as possible when it comes to any further departures.
Although Goal report that Southampton currently rate Schneiderlin - who went to the 2014 World Cup as a late injury replacment - at £18 million, it is further suggested that Arsenal's value stands at approximately £15 million.
This would not seem too big a gap to bridge, although Southampton are understandably unlikely to be in the mood for negotiation or compromise just at the moment.
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