Arsenal are at the font of the queue for highly-rated Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, according to reports from The Express.

The French playmaker has long been hailed as one of Ligue 1’s top talents, and has been on Arsene Wenger’s radar for some time.

Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye was believed to be the Gunners’ top target ahead of the New Year, but a move for the St James’ Park ace appears to have been scrapped thanks to his £22m price tag.

Valbuena has now emerged as an alternative for the Premier League leaders, with the 29-year-old believed to be edging towards a winter move.

Marseille are said to be willing to sell their star man next month, with Arsenal thought to be ahead of Atletico Madrid in the chase for his signature.

A fee of £10m is rumoured to be enough to secure the pint-sized midfielder, which would leave funds free for Wenger to continue his pursuit of a top class striker.

Despite having a number of players able to operate in the centre of the pitch, the Frenchman is keen to add to his ranks following injuries to the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.

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