Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has finally run out of patience with Abou Diaby and is prepared to sign West Ham's Mohamed Diame in the January transfer window.
Wenger stated at the start of the season that he allowed Alex Song to join Barcelona as he planned to build his midfield around Diaby. However, the France international has once again been plagued with injuries and has started just five Premier League games.
Diaby started the season in excellent form but picked up a thigh injury in September and has been forced to sit on the sideline for the last two months. There has been no indication on when he is due to return and Wenger has admitted that the demands of Premier League football have taken their toll on the rangy midfielder.
"The situation for Diaby is so frustrating and for us as well we started the season well with him in the team and since he has been out we have felt it," Wenger told ESPN in November. "He balances our team as he has stature and presence physically when he is there, but clearly his injury problems are a concern.
"I can tell you he has been everywhere in the world to be assessed. There is an explanation. He is quick, strong, has good stamina, good resistance to repeat, but his muscle strength is not good enough to deal with that. Sometimes little fibres go in his muscles, this is basically his problem.
"When you play every three days, you cannot rebuild your strength as you need to recover. When you don't rebuild your strength, through the games you burn your fibres a bit and become weaker and weaker, so that means he gets injured."
Diaby was able to play just nine games in the last two seasons and the Metro believes that Wenger is now ready to buy Diame as a replacement in the January transfer window.
The 25-year-old was signed by West Ham on a free transfer in the summer and has since displayed his power and ability on numerous occasions as the Hammers have enjoyed an impressive start to the season.
Diame was particularly lauded for his performance against Chelsea, as he entered the fray at half-time and helped West Ham secure a 3-1 win by scoring the second goal and delivering a powerhouse display in midfield.
The following week he picked up an injury in the game against Liverpool and there is a growing fear that he could be ruled out for as long as 12 weeks.
Yet this news does not seem to have deterred Wenger and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has admitted that they could be forced to sell if a sizeable offer arrives.
"There is always a situation where you are powerless to keep a player," said Allardyce. "Because of the size of the fee, you can't turn it down and the chairman says, 'We can't say no, we've got to move him on'. But I won't be disclosing a player's contract."
There have been suggestions that Diame has a release clause in his contract with goal.com reporting that Arsenal could sign the midfielder for as little as £4million.