Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could be set to lose out on one of his long-term targets with Manchester United now said to be firm favourites to sign Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Mbiwa has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates in recent transfer windows and Arsene was understood to have asked about the 23-year-old during negotiations for the signing of Olivier Giroud last summer.
However, French outlet Le10 Sport are reporting today that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has moved quickly to open talks with Montpellier over the signing of the French defender and are expected to seal a deal before the window closes at the end of the month.
Mbiwa extended his contract last year but it’s understood he insisted on a clause being included that would allow him to leave for €7m, which is something of a bargain in today’s market.
If Manchester United’s interest is concrete, it doesn’t bode well for us as the player recently admitted his ‘dream’ was to play for United:
“My dream is to slide on my knees into the corner at Old Trafford, with a Manchester United jersey on my back. I play for Manchester United, my favourite club, and I am scoring a decisive goal from a corner with my head. Yes, that, it would be nice.” Mbiwa said.
Mbiwa is one player I would love to see Arsenal sign this month. He was hugely impressive during our champions league games against Montpellier this season and his versatility would be a huge asset – with him being able to play anywhere across the back-line. He’s exactly what we need after seeing Johan Djourou leave and Seb Squiallaci is expected to follow, so we’re going to be light at the back.
However, I’m not sure how reliable this French source are so there may still be hope yet Gooners. Arsenal have an excellent relationship with Montpellier so even if United did contact them I’m sure the French outfit would let us know to see if we wanted to match their offer.