AC Milan have surged ahead in the race for Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia giving Arsenal a real headache in their pursuit of the Frenchman.

TalkSPORT reports that the Serie A club are willing to pay above £20m for the services of the 22-year-old, who is also being heavily scouted by clubs across Europe.

Arsenal have also earmarked the player as a backup for Francis Coquelin, who has had a breakthrough campaign after being brought into the team to cover for injuries to key players.

Kondogbia can play ahead or alongside Coquelin in midfield, with the player capable of using his wiry frame to dribble past the opposition and make powerful runs from midfield. Kondogbia can alleviate the void left by Abou Diaby, who is set to be released this season after his contract expires.

The midfielder played an important role in Monaco's 3-1 win over the Gunners this season. rsene Wenger has a real fight on his hands to secure his signature, given Milan have a transfer kitty of £100m this season and are relentlessly pursuing a plethora of players to build a title challenge next season.

The Italian club's CEO Adriano Galliani is apparently flying to Monaco this week to meet with the player and agree terms if possible with the club, who are at an advantage, given the player still has three years left in his current contract.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Morgan Schneiderlin, who is set to leave Southampton for a club in the Champions League.

The north London club are on the verge of signing Petr Cech after Tomas Rosicky hinted that a deal is on the cards for the Chelsea veteran. However, they will face massive opposition from Jose Mourinho, who will do everything in his power to scupper the move.