Arsenal have agreed on a deal to sign Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila, according to various reports.
The Gunners have been hot on the trail of the M'Vila for around 12 months after getting a bid knocked back last August and manager Arsene Wenger has been a long-term admirer of the French player, who could offer Arsenal the defensive steel that they need in midfield.
The player's representatives had held talks with Inter Milan last week but he has finally decided to join Arsenal, reports the Daily Mail.
French daily Le Parisien's Julien Laurens claims that an agreement between Arsenal and Rennes is 99 per cent done, tweeting, "Very busy yesterday working on M'Vila story. 22 million Euros (£17.7 million), four years (contract). Great signing for Arsenal and the player is delighted. He chose Arsenal over Inter Milan."
The presence of Frenchman Wenger has played a key role in the deal and the midfielder has told friends that he wants to join Arsenal this summer regardless of whether they clinch a place in the Champions League, according to The Telegraph.
Wenger does not want a repeat of long, drawn out deadline day transfer deals like last summer and has already landed German forward Lukas Podolski from Cologne for a reported fee of £10.9 million, with M'Vila set to follow the striker through another swiftly negotiated deal.
M'Vila, who can operate as an anchorman or a box-to-box midfielder, is arguably the most important member of Laurent Blanc's rejuvenated French national team.
Incredibly athletic and strong, Rennes describe M'Vila as a player, who possesses excellent defensive abilities and impressive physical strength and the 21-year-old's attributes and style are ideal for the Premier League.
Wenger already has an excellent holding midfielder in Alex Song but with the Cameroonian developing an eye for defence-splitting passes and over-the-top balls this season, the signing of M'Vila would allow Song to operate in a slightly attacking role, if needed.
The reports also say that Arsenal have Blackburn Rovers winger Junior Hoilett in their radar. The 21-year-old has collected seven goals and six assists so far this season and has been the silver lining in the cloud for the bottom-table club.
Arsenal can provide Hoilett with an opportunity to play for a big club, increased exposure and probably a chance to feature in the Champions League. The Canadian has reportedly refused to sign a new deal with Blackburn and looks likely to leave on a free transfer in the summer.