Reports earlier this week revealed Arsenal are poised to offer midfielder Francis Coquelin a new three-year deal following his impressive recent form - but it’s understood that the Gunners are planning to make a bid for Newcastle United defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote.
This is according to the Daily Star, who understand Arsenal have been informed that Tiote wants a three-and-a-half year deal worth £80,000-a-week to sign for Arsene Wenger’s side this month.
Gunners officials have already held talks with the Ivory Coast international’s representatives - and the north London outfit are now weighing up a £9 million bid.
Francis Coquelin's future
Should Tiote sign for the Gunners this month, questions marks will remain over the future of France Under-21 international Coquelin, who was instrumental in Arsenal’s unexpected 2-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend.
Recalled from his loan spell at Charlton Athletic last month, the 23-year-old has exceeded expectations in recent weeks and now sits ahead of compatriot Mathieu Flamini in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium.
But despite his impressive recent form, Coquelin would find himself back on the substitutes’ bench - or possibly out on loan at another club - should Tiote arrive.
The 28-year-old is widely considered one of the Premier League’s most tenacious midfielders and would certainly bring some much-needed steel and bite to Arsenal’s midfield.
He is currently on international duty at the African Cup of Nations and played in Ivory Coast’s opening match against Guinea on Tuesday.
Tiote signed for Newcastle in a £3.5 million deal from Dutch side FC Twente after the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2010.
Tiote's only and only Newcastle goal?
The African midfielder has since played 130 games for the Magpies, scoring one goal - which Arsenal fans will remember all too well.
Despite their 4-0 half-time lead, Wenger’s men capitulated in the second 45 minutes, and Tiote’s wonderful volley secured the most unlikely of points for the north-east outfit at St James’ Park back in 2011.
Arsenal fans: would you rather have Tiote or Coquelin in your midfield? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.