Arsenal are preparing a move for Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin in the summer, according to Goal.com.
The emergence of Francis Coquelin had initiated talk that the Gunners would alleviate their interest in the midfield anchor, but Arsene Wenger is not convinced that the 23-year-old could carry performing throughout the season without a break.
The Gunners can also use both Coquelin and Schneiderlin in the midfield when they face tough opposition, which would allow their defence some respite. Wenger is a huge fan of the midfielder and was reported to have made a bid for the midfielder in January.
However, signing him will not be easy, as Manchester United and Chelsea are also in the race for the player. Louis van Gaal has made signing a midfielder his top priority in the summer and has been linked with moves for Ilkay Gundogan and Miralem Pjanic.
Chelsea are also in the race, with Jose Mourinho looking for a replacement to Mikel, who is expected to leave after the season. Schneiderlin can be slotted by the Blues alongside Nemanja Matic or Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park depending on the quality of opposition.
Schneiderlin has been offered a mega contract with the Saints, but the Frenchman is desperate to move to a club in the Champions League, citing in an interview earlier in the season that he has made up his mind that he wants to bring his dream to fruition.
"In August, I wanted to take a move but the club had lost too many players to agree to sell me," he told French newspaper L'Equipe in March.
"Since then I have had discussions with the leaders and I want to play at the highest level: it is important at 25 years old to finally know the Champions League.
"Given that, late in the season, Southampton may qualify for the Champions League and I can stay, who knows. I have no desire to be in front of my TV on Tuesday and Wednesday," he added.