Arsenal have joined Newcastle United in the race to sign £8m-rated Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko in January, according to the Mirror. The report states Arsene Wenger is actively searching for a long-term alternative to injured French international Abou Diaby and a replacement for Cameroonian Alex Song, who left to join Barcelona in the summer. The long-serving Gunners boss has previously been linked with West Ham United's Mohamed Diame.

Moussa Sissoko

Sissoko is in the final year of his contract at the Stadium de Toulouse and has reportedly refused an extension, increasing speculation he is set to end his nine-year stay at the club. The 23-year-old French midfielder made his international debut in 2009, as a substitute in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the Faroe Islands. However, since then he has made only four other appearances for Les Bleus.

Wilshere on Title Challenge

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has insisted the Gunners can still challenge for the Premier League title, despite trailing leaders Manchester United by 18 points. The 20-year-old has only recently returned from more than a year out injured but has re-established himself as a key man for Wenger and has also confirmed he is likely to sign a new five-year contract soon.

"We can still realistically win everything we are in. I know we are a long way behind in the Premier League but football changes quickly. If we win three games and another team loses a couple and draws one, we are back in it. It is not in our hands so we need a bit of luck," an optimistic Wilshere said.

"You saw with Chelsea last year, no one would have said in December they were going to win the Champions League. But they got a bit of luck. There are top-quality teams and the best players in Europe so you are going to need a bit of luck. You never know what can happen," he added.

Arsenal have slipped to eighth in the Premier League following the first set of weekend fixtures and could drop as low as 10th, depending on results for Swansea City and West Ham United, by the time they kick-off their Monday night game at the Madejski Stadium against Reading.