The Gunners are targeting Southampton’s £15 million-rated Morgan Schneiderlin as an alternative to the PSG midfielder following injury blows to Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere
By Wayne Veysey
Blaise Matuidi will snub interest from Arsenal and sign a contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Gunners made an enquiry for the midfielder on Wednesday as they attempt to strengthen their central midfield ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline.
But PSG do not want to sell Matuidi and have convinced the 26-year-old that his future lies with the French champions, with the player now set to sign an extension to his current deal, which is due to expire in the summer.
Arsenal have now turned their attention to Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin as an alternative to Matuidi but have been quoted a price tag of £15 million for the 24-year-old.
Schneiderlin, who has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, signed a new contract with the Saints in February 2013 that runs until the summer of 2017.
Goal also revealed on Wednesday that Arsene Wenger is in the market for a midfielder as he deals with a growing crisis in the central area of his team.
Aaron Ramsey will be out for up to another six weeks after sustaining a fresh thigh injury in training on Monday, Jack Wilshere is expected to miss the next two games with a recurrence of his long-standing ankle problems, Mathieu Flamini has been suspended for four matches and Abou Diaby is out for the rest of the season.
With Mikel Arteta the last central midfielder still standing, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to move in from the flanks and fill in during Sunday’s league match against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.
Ramsey’s injury is a particularly severe blow to Arsenal’s hopes of winning the Premier League title and progressing beyond the last-16 stage of the Champions League ahead of a demanding set of fixtures in March.
The 23-year-old broke down during a training drill on Monday when he aggravated a tendon under his thigh muscle. He was immediately sent for a scan, which revealed on Tuesday that he is expected to be sidelined for between four and six weeks.
Speaking on Thursday, Wenger admitted that the Welsh star faces an extended spell on the sidelines. “Ramsey will be out for longer because he had a setback and it doesn’t look too good,” he told the press. “It is matter of some weeks for him.”
Ramsey had already been out since suffering a grade two thigh strain in Arsenal’s Boxing Day win over West Ham.