Arsenal have reportedly opened discussions with Southampton in order to procure Morgan Schneiderlin's services in the ongoing transfer window.
Goal.com reports that the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has earmarked his 24-year-old compatriot to pull the strings midfield at the Emirates next season.
Last month, the French international revealed that he could consider leaving the south coast club to fulfil his ambitions of playing in major competitions.
The north London club had set their sights on Real Madrid's World Cup-winning star Sami Khedira and were willing to meet his £20m valuation. But their interest has waned due to the 27-year-old German international's £200,000-a-week package demands.
Arsenal have Schneiderlin on their list of targets but are also facing a challenge from their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. His former boss at St Mary's Maurico Pochettino, reportedly wants the former Strasbourg star to follow him to White Hart Lane. But the Saints are likely to remain keen on preventing anymore sales.
Earlier this month, Schneiderlin remained silent on his future but revealed that new Southampton manager Ronald Koeman wants his services for the upcoming campaign.
"Yes, he (Koeman) called me about a week ago. But what was said will stay between us. He wants me to stay and we'll see. I don't know yet. I still have three years left on my contract at Southampton. Nothing has happened, I am going to relax and go on holiday and we will see," Schneiderlin explained.
Last week, the 51-year-old Dutchman too reiterated his desire to retain the midfielder saying: "We don't have any bids for Schneiderlin."
"I spoke to Morgan last week and he comes back in two weeks because all the players in the World Cup get three weeks off. He is a player of Southampton and he will be a player of Southampton," Koeman concluded.
Goal.com's report also suggests that Arsenal are ready to make a £15m offer but his current employers are valuing him at £18m.
With the sale of Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana to Liverpool and Manchester United, the Saints have proved that they are tough negotiators, forcing potential suitors to shell out exorbitant transfer fees for their prized assets.