Arsenal have prepared a lucrative salary package through intermediaries for Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, reports Goal.com.
The same report has suggested that the Saints ace, who starred for France in this summer's World Cup, is now regarded as Arsene Wenger's No.1 summer transfer target following the arrivals of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy.
It appears that the Gunners have stepped up their interest in the highly rated Frenchman after failing to land Real Madrid star Sami Khedira because of his wage demands of £200,000-a-week. However, the Goal report has suggested that Arsenal still hold some interest in Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, but it remains to be seen as to whether the club will press ahead with a move in the near future.
It looks likely, however, that Wenger will try and persuade Schneiderlin to join the club, with the prospect of Champions League football possibly appealing to the player ahead of the 2014/15 season.
If Wenger can land Schneiderlin, then he the player will further add competition to the middle of the park area at the Emirates. The north London outfit have the likes of Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini competing for places, but Schneiderlin would add another dimension to the side.
Some of the Gunners first-team stars struggled with injury at times throughout the course of last season, meaning Schneiderlin would give the club another option as the club embark upon another European campaign.
However, Arsenal may well have to battle their north London rivals Tottenham for the player's signature in this window, as the report goes on to say that the White Hart Lane outfit have also made the Frenchman their priority target.
It remains to be seen, however, as to whether Southampton will sell the midfield ace, with the report indicating that the Saints are prepared to play hard ball over the potential sale of their prize asset. Arsenal and Tottenham may well embark upon a bidding for for the World Cup star over the coming weeks.
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