Saint-Etienne midfielder Josuha Guilavogui has been earmarked as an back-up option for Arsenal FC, if they fail to land Yohan Cabaye from Newcastle United.
Arsenal have recovered well from their opening day loss to Aston Villa and have now won three matches on the bounce, including an important victory over Fenerbahce which sees them qualify for the Champions League for a record 16 times in a row. But these victories mustn’t paper the crack on the surface and Wenger knows that the present squad is too thin to compete in all the tournaments. Arsenal needs to sign if not for quality, for quantity they must.
Arsenal made their first move in the transfer market after the Villa debacle by submitting a £10.2 million bid for Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye. But Newcastle were quick to reject that bid, which was termed as ‘derisory’ by the club. Arsenal were far from meeting the valuation of Cabaye and the Toons are unlikely to listen to any offer under £20 million for the Frenchman.
Interestingly though, Cabaye and his representatives are pushing for a move to the Emirates. He is yet to feature for Newcastle in the league this season after missing out the opening two games and it is believed that he has refused to play for the club. Cabaye was left out of the squad that faced Morecambe on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup tie as Alan Pardew is furious with the midfielder.
The Newcastle United manager has said that the club’s interest will always precede that of the player and is hoping for a quick resolution in this transfer saga.
“The answer isn’t as simple as a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.“
“The answer is he is either going to be sold and we are going to have to replace him in the window that we have left, or he’s going to stay.”
“But I, as the manager, have to protect him and protect the football club, more importantly. The first thing on my agenda is the football club, trust me, and that will always come first while I am the manager here.” – Pardew insisted.
Arsenal are expected to make one final bid for the French international, although it is yet to be seen if Wenger’s valuation of Cabaye matches that of Pardew’s. But the Gunners have already earmarked a back-up option if they final bid for Cabaye meets rejection. 22-year-old defensive midfielder Josuha Guilavogui is said to be on Arsenal’s radar and the London club are contemplating on making a move for him.
Guilavogui is highly rated back in France and he has come up through the Saint Etienne academy after joining the club back in 2005. He was a regular figure in their midfield last season and his consistent performance also earned him a debut for the French national side earlier this year. Guilavogui signed an extension last year and his present contract expires in 2016. He was earlier linked with a move to Monaco this summer, but their interest in him seemed to have cooled off recently.
There are also reports that Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry is another name on the list of possible options. But Arsene Wenger’s first preference remains Cabaye and the club is also close to re-signing free agent Mathieu Flamini on a three year deal. The 29-year-old has trained with the London club this summer and he is close to signing a deal worth per season. While he is not the big name signing that the Gooners were hoping for, it could turn out to be an astute piece of business, especially if Wenger is able to get the best out of him. He will add a lot of steel to the current midfield.