Arsenal continue to be interested in Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, according to the Sunday People. The 23-year-old French international could be available for a cut-price £3.5m, since the Ligue 1 champions have been eliminated from the Champions League, losing twice to the Gunners in the process.
It is believed Yanga-Mbiwa will replace Swiss international Johan Djourou and compatriot Sebastien Squillaci at the Emirates. For now, Djourou has been loaned to Bundesliga side Hannover 96 and Squillaci remains on the transfer list and will leave the club in the summer.
Yanga-Mbiwa was an important member of Montepellier's title-winning campaign last year, making 34 league starts. His performances earned him the attention of Arsenal at the start of this season, when the Premier League club was negotiating the transfer of former team-mate and striker Olivier Giroud.
However, at the time the youngster appeared more interested in a move to Italian club AC Milan. In addition, Yanga-Mbiwa has also been quoted as saying he would prefer to play for either one of the Manchester clubs over Arsenal, should he move to the Premier League.
The player's contract with the club expires in 2015.
Montpellier are the reigning champions of France but have had a poor first half of the season. Rene Girard's team are 11th in Ligue 1, with 26 points from 19 games. They trail league leaders Paris St Germain (PSG) by 12 points and are six points behind Rennes in the race for European football next season.
Wenger on Trophies
Meanwhile, Wenger has admitted the Gunners need to start winning silverware soon or risk losing the aura of strength necessary to be a top team. The north London club have not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup and the 2012/13 campaign seems likely to extend that drought; the Gunners are 18 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United and have been eliminated from the Capital One Cup. They face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in the third round of the FA Cup and have been drawn to face Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the first knock-out round of the Champions League.
"There's an aura around a team that is built through the history of the team. That makes them feel strong together. It's an energy that builds up inside the team that you sense. That is linked with the success that the team has achieved. Even if you win the cup, [which] is important to me, people will say 'Yes, but we want you to fight for the Premier League'. That's where the strength of a club lies. The strength of the club here demands you fight for the Premier League," the Frenchman told the club's website.