Arsenal are reportedly ahead of Premier League rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Sunderland in the race to sign highly rated midfielder Blaise Matuidi from Ligue 1 club Saint Etienne, according to reports.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had reportedly been on the verge of signing 21-year-old Matuidi just before the transfer window shut in the summer, but opted not to make a move for the former Troyes player.
The latest reports suggest that Wenger has reignited his interest in Matuidi, with the Frenchman understood to have sent a scout to watch the deep lying playmaker in action against AS Monaco on Sunday.
Wenger had declared in the summer that his squad at the Emirates Stadium needed another quality midfielder, but despite being linked with the likes of Xabi Alonso at Liverpool and Gareth Barry at Aston Villa no one arrived before the window shut.
However, after defeat to Premiership debutantes Hull City at the Emirates and a last gasp 1-1 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in successive weeks in the league, Wenger is now ready to add some bite to the midfield at Arsenal. With an offer for the French Under-21 International expected when the transfer window reopens in January.