Arsenal have joined Newcastle United in the race to sign Marseille striker Loic Remy, according to the Independent. The Gunners are believed to be looking for a forward to replace Moroccan Marouane Chamakh, who has been loaned to West Ham for the season.
The French international is likely to cost the Premier League duo £10m and reports from France suggest Arsene Wenger is favourite to sign the player. There was also interest from Premier League relegation candidates QPR, with Harry Redknapp reportedly flying to France to speak to Remy. However, the 26-year-old has turned down a move to Loftus Road, citing the possibility of relegation from English top flight.
However, the fact the striker will reportedly only consider a move for Champions League football is likely to trouble both the Gunners and the Magpies as well, with neither in the top four of the Premier League at the moment. The Independent's report also links Italian club Inter Milan and Bundesliga side Schalke 04, of whom the latter will be able to offer Remy immediate Champions League football; the Germans have qualified for this season's knock-out stages.
The good news for Wenger is Remy is a fan of the north London club. And the manager himself is an admirer of his younger compatriot.
"Arsenal are the club I want to join. I won't deny they are my priority. Arsenal are a young, ambitious side and I love to watch them play," the striker said two seasons ago, "It is the ideal place for me. I spoke with Thierry [Henry] about them and asked him lots of questions about life there."
Remy has had a poor season so far, making only two Ligue 1 starts all season long (14 appearances) and scoring just the once. He scored 12 from 29 appearances last year.
Wenger will have his work cut out for him though, with the French club's coach, Elie Baup, hinting Remy would probably remain with the club until the end of the season.
"For a year, every transfer window, we have been talking about his departure," Baup told La Provence, adding, "But he is still there. Maybe he still will be in the summer."
Wenger on Transfers
Meanwhile, Wenger also confirmed no more players will leave the Emirates on loan without replacements being signed. The club have allowed Swiss defender Johan Djourou to sign a temporary contract with Bundesliga side Hannover 96, in addition to Chamakh's Upton Park transfer.
"At the moment no, [no one is leaving].We have a good squad, a balanced one. At the moment nobody can go out, unless we buy somebody. At the moment our focus is to keep everybody. In every position we have two players. Three is too many and one is not enough," the club's Web site quoted him as saying.