Arsenal now appear to be the favourites to sign Kenyan star Victor Wanyama from the Scottish Premier League champions, Celtic, before the transfer window closes at the end of January.
The Independent ran a story this week to the effect that Arsenal manager ArsÃ¨ne Wenger â€œ…is considering making a bid for the Celtic Holding midfielder, Victor Wanyama, in the coming days as he attempts to improve Arsenalâ€™s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.â€
Wenger is said to be â€œconcerned with an imbalance in Arsenalâ€™s midfield, caused by Alex Songâ€™s summer sale to Barcelona, and is weighing up a bid for a more physically imposing figure than Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey.â€
Arsenal would have to make their bid well before Thursday next week, when the transfer window closes, to give the process time to be concluded.
Among the vital things to be completed included processing his work permit which would need to be appealed for as Kenya falls outside the world top 70 country requirement for the UK.
Having closely monitored the progress of Wanyama in Celticâ€™s successful progress through the Champions League group stages, â€œArsenal have made the Kenya ace aware that he is a strong option for the position.â€
Though Wanyamaâ€™s performance has seen his asking price rise above Â£10m, the 21-year-oldâ€™s wages are comparatively low and he has refused to extend his contract with Celtic, which expires in 2015.
Had a stand-out performance
â€œGunners coach, Arsene Wenger, believes Wanyama will fit into the Arsenal scheme perfectly – serving as an ideal replacement to Alex Song, who made way to Barcelona this past summer,â€ the report read.
Champions League winners Chelsea have also expressed interest in the Kenyan star who could cost up to Â£12 million.
Wanyamaâ€™s agent, Rob Moore, has confirmed the 20-year-old wants to play in Englandâ€™s top flight sooner rather than later.
However, the issue is far from settled, and Manchester United are still among a host of potential suitors, including Tottenham and Liverpool, for the 21-year-old, who struck Celticâ€™s second goal on the evening of their win over Dundee United this week.
United boss Alex Ferguson was spotted in Celticsâ€™ Parkhead crowd as the champions romped to an emphatic 4-0 win on Tuesday night with Wanyama putting in a stand-out performance.-Nation