Morgan Schneiderlin
Morgan SchneiderlinReuters

Arsenal are set to wage war with Napoli for the signature of Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin in the summer, according to the Metro.

The midfielder, who was influential in what has culminated into a brilliant season for the Saints, is being valued at £17m with both clubs eager to secure his signature.

His performance has been rewarded by France manager Didier Deschamps, who has named him as standby for the 23-man World Cup squad.

The Gunners eye him as a replacement for Mikel Arteta, who is nearing his mid-thirties and is unlikely to continue for long.

However, Napoli manager Rafa Benitez is likely to put in a major challenge for the midfielder with the Serie A club having secured Champions League football for the upcoming season.

The Gunners are also keeping an eye out for Bayern Munich enforcer Javi Martinez, who is likely to be their first choice if the Spaniard is willing to move in the upcoming transfer window.

The Gunners have been defensively weak this season against the top teams. Arteta's failure to screen the defence has resulted in a couple of ignominious scorelines away from home for the north London club.

Arsene Wenger, who has secured Champions League football for the 18th year in succession, is thereby looking for a defensive midfielder to lower the pressure on the back four.

Meanwhile, Arsenal can finish the season on a high with a win over Hull City in the finals of the FA Cup at Wembley. The Gunners overcame the likes of Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool to reach the finals and need a much improved performance than their win on penalties against Wigan in the semi-finals.

The pressure to deliver will be on Wenger, who has failed to lead his team to any silverware over the past nine years. Arsenal spent 128 days at the top of the table, more than any other club in the top four, but failed to make the final push when it mattered.