Arsenal continue to monitor Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, despite reports of a deal nearing completion with Newcastle United.
The Mirror reports Arsene Wenger is contemplating matching the Magpies' £6.7m offer and recruiting the 23-year-old defender as competition and cover for Carl Jenkinson. In addition, Yanga-Mbiwa's versatility will provide a big boost to the Gunners' unstable and unpredictable back-line.
Wenger is also believed to be planning for the possible exit of Bacary Sagna, with the 29-year-old French international yet to agree an extension to his deal; Sagna is contracted till 2014 but the Mirror has linked him with a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan.
The north London club have only Belgian Thomas Vermaelen, German Per Mertesacker and Frenchman Laurent Koscielny as centre backs, with Jenkinson, Sagna, Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos the options on the flanks. Of these, Santos is widely expected to leave the club as well, after failing to establish himself in the first team; the Mirror links him with a return to Turkish club Galatasaray. And the fact Arsenal have yet to find a new defensive midfielder, after Cameroon international Alex Song's transfer to Barcelona in the summer likely adds to the possibility Yanga-Mbiwa will be well received at the Emirates.
Yanga-Mbiwa has made 16 appearances in the French champion's title-defense this season but has not had the impact he did last year. The defender was part of the team that lost to Arsenal in the group stages of this season's Champions League and should he move to England, he will re-unite with former team mate Olivier Giroud.
Wenger Fines Players
Meanwhile, Wenger has fined a number of first team players for breaching the code of conduct during training sessions. The Sun reports the list of offences included failing to report for training, being late for travel or team meals and even making phone calls from within the team's London Colney office.
The photographs revealing Wenger's strict code of conduct were leaked by a friend of an unidentified staff member and the club has confirmed that information regarding the fines, the lists and the players involved are true. The spokesperson also said the club would review security procedures.