Arsène Wenger is ready to make Geoffrey Kondogbia his first summer signing, as the Gunners step up their interest in the highly-rated defensive midfielder.
Despite the emergence of Francis Coquelin in the second half of the season, Arsenal are reportedly preparing a £25 million bid in order to increase their options in this position, according to Italian news outlet Sky Italia.
With fellow midfield players Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta both in their 30s, Wenger has identified Kondogbia as somebody able to compete with Coquelin for the deep-lying role which he has excelled in, after being recalled from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic.
The 22-year-old is widely regarded as one of Europe's best young players, having made his international debut for France at the age of just 20. He was also part of the French squad which won the U-20 World Cup in 2013, before completing a €20 million move to his current club, AS Monaco.
Since then, Kondogbia has developed a reputation as a tough tackling midfielder, able to break up attacks in the centre of the park and offer protection for the back four.
Of course, Arsenal fans will already be familiar with Kondogbia's name, having watched him play a crucial role in their Champions League clash against Monaco, during this year's round of 16 stage.
The former Sevilla player opened the scoring in his team's 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium, before helping Monaco hang on in the reverse fixture to secure a 3-3 draw on aggregate, with the French side progressing on away goals.
The Gunners will face stiff competition for his signature, with Inter Milan also thought to be interested, but they will be the favourites to sign the youngster if they meet Monaco's £25.4 million valuation.
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