Arsenal are considering a bid for West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame, according to Goal.com. The Senegalese international may be the subject of a £4m approach from the Gunners after enjoying an impressive start in the Hammers' return to the Premier League. The 25-year-old defensive midfielder is believed to have a release clause in his contract that can be triggered by a January bid.
"Diame does have a release clause in his three-year contract. He joined us from Wigan on a free transfer," West Ham's chairman, David Gold, tweeted earlier. However, he did not reveal the size of the release fee.
Predictably, Sam Allardyce's side are keen on tying their midfielder to a long-term contract, or at least one with a revised release fee. However, with interest also from Newcastle United, according to the Daily Mail, Diame is likely to have the upper hand in any negotiations with his present club; his contract expires in 2014. Sky Sports reported in June that Liverpool were interested in Diame. That interest was reportedly carried over after former Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers took over from Kenny Dalglish but nothing came of it.
Wenger does have French international Abou Diaby in that position but the 26-year-old has been terribly unlucky with injuries since signing for the Emirates club in 2006. In May of his first year with the club, Diaby suffered an ankle fracture in a league game against Sunderland and was out for more than eight months. He then suffered a thigh strain in 2008 and the 2011/12 campaign was particularly horrendous for the midfielder, with only five appearances all season.
And if reports of a move for Diame are true, then it would suggest Wenger has finally lost faith that Diaby will return. The Gunners are short of hard-tackling midfielders in the centre of the park, particularly since Cameroon midfielder Alex Song left for Barcelona in the summer. The club may have the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin to call on but the presence of an enforcer like Diaby, Song, or Diame is important.