Arsenal switch attention to Ligue 1 alternative
As the club continue to be linked with reinforcements for the injury-riddled left-back position, Arsenal may look at Cheikh M’Bengue as a new candidate to fulfil the role.
Aly Cissokho was the most prominent name to be mentioned with a move to the North London side after rumours of loan deals for Eric Abidal and Wayne Bridge apparently came to nothing.
However, it seems as if the Lyon left-back will not be completing a move to the Emirates Stadium despite the chief executive at the French side admitting that he would be available for sale.
This is where M’Bengue come in and although the Toulouse defender is currently at the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, the Gunners may still make an offer.
The country got off to a bad start in the tournament, losing 1-0 to Zambia and it seems more likely that the player could be back at club level at the start of February rather than the end.
M’Bengue has made over 100 appearances for Toulouse since finishing his youth training with the club in 2007 and is now a firm staple in their defence.
Although Arsene Wenger will be buoyed by the news that Kieran Gibbs will be ready for action in February, he will still be without summer Signing and senior left-back, Andre Santos, until later in March.
Gibbs may be an impressive prospect but many feel the youngster is not yet ready for a starting berth and 23 year-old M’Bengue may be a preferred option.
Any deal taking the Senegalese international away from Toulouse will be expected to cost in excess of £6m, for a player in a position that Arsenal are in dire need of.