Arsene Wenger is eyeing Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama as his top priority signing in January transfer market.
Arsenal manager Wenger is keen to bolster his squad after making it to the Champions League last 16 along with pushing for the Premier League title.
Wenger has seen his team struggling with an injury crisis and the most affected department remains the midfield, where Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta all are missing out.
However, Arsenal had been chasing Wanyama even before he joined Southampton from Scottish side Celtic for almost £12.5million, and since then the Gunners have been highly impressed by the Kenya International’s improvement at St Mary’s in the two seasons.
Reports are saying, Wenger has once again stepped up their scouting and are ready to make an offer next month while Southampton is on the verge of yet another fight to stop one of their top stars leaving.
The Spurs had a £12m offer for 6ft 2in Wanyama rejected last summer.
It is understood that Arsenal will have to splash out more than £15m to sign their top priority target and the good news is they do have the cash to spend.
Southampton was able to persuade Wanyama to stay with them in the close-season but this time, it will be difficult to do so in the winter as Arsenal are pushing for the league title and are also in the Champions League’s last 16, so Wenger is desperate to strengthen his squad. Southampton are already targeting Porto’s Gianelli Imbula as a potential replacement for the Kenyan.
What makes Wanyama a hot target in the transfer market is his power and energy while also being young enough to fulfil Wenger’s requirements as well as being in a good shape in the Premier League.
Arsenal also made a move for at the Wanyama’s Saints midfield partner Morgan Schneiderlin before he joined Manchester United last summer while Sporting Lisbon’s Portuguese star William Carvalho has also been scouted recently.
However, it is Wanyama who tops the target list and the Gunners will go for a full-scale attempt to sign a holding midfielder to turn things around.
Wenger made it clear earlier, they will not sign a striker in January, despite being left short this term as Danny Welbeck has been out injured since April.
On the other hand, Dynamo Moscow’s Russian attacker Aleksandr Kokorin was a long target for Arsenal and they could again look for him, but may have to wait and seek a bigger signing in the summer.