Arsenal are edging closer towards completing their first January signing. They will be taking Mohamed Elneny into the team and the FC Basel midfielder will undergo his medical in Paris on Tuesday (29 December). He joined the Swiss outfit from Egyptian club El Mokawloon in Janaury 2013 and has won the league on three occasions.
The Daily Mail reports that the 23-year-old is expected to sign a four-and-a-half year deal on Wednesday and the Gunners are expected to pay a fee of £7.4m ($11.03m) for his services. The Egyptian international returned to Switzerland from holiday in his homeland on Christmas eve after the north London club and Basel entered into negotiations.
The two clubs have already agreed a fee for the midfielder's sale, according to the Mirror. Before being unveiled and completing his move to Arsenal, Elneny needs to obtain a work visa to be allowed into England.
Arsene Wenger is already without the services of two of his key players, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla, with knee injuries. The two played alongside each other in the centre of the pitch and in their absence, the Frenchman has deployed his compatriot Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey in that position.
The arrival of Elneny could see him get straight into the team and it could also provide rest and competition for Flamini. The 31-year-old French midfielder's contract will run out at the end of the season and the Basel man can be the long-term replacement for Flamini at Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Arsenal moved to the top of the table after their 2-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth at home. Wenger admitted that his side were nervous against Eddie Howe's team after their 4-0 crushing defeat to Southampton.
"It was nervy at the start because we had to swallow the 4-0 [at Southampton] and it didn't go well and I think we were focused at the start not to concede a stupid goal and got slowly into the game," Wennger told Arsenal's official website.
"I changed a few players and put Calum Chambers at the centre of the park so it took us a while to get going but I think in the last 70 minutes we were in control of the game and did very well."