Arsene Wenger finally closes in on Yohan Cabaye
Eighteen months after annoying Newcastle United by offering £10 million for their then captain Yohan Cabaye, Arsène Wenger is finally closing in on the France midfielder and for the fee that Alan Pardew rejected.
Newcastle finally let Cabaye leave for Paris Saint-Germain for £19 million in January but he has struggled to win a regular starting place under Lauent Blanc this season, appearing 19 times in Ligue 1 matches, nine of them off the bench.
Although a central midfielder of Cabaye's type is no longer a priority area, the futures of Mathieu Flamini, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta are still unresolved and Cabaye would enhance Wenger's options.
Meanwhile, Alisher Usmanov, who owns 30.04 per cent of Arsenal, has ridiculed reports that he has personally intervened to sign the £28m-rated 21-year-old Palermo striker Paulo Dybala for the club this summer and has released a statement via his company Red & White Holdings to emphasise the fact.
"Contrary to inaccurate media reports, Red & White would like to clarify that it has not made any formal or informal contact with either Paulo Dybala, his agent or Palermo football club," it read.
Arsenal's pursuit of the Argentine striker Maxi Romero from Velez Sarsfield for £4.4m is nearing completion. The forward, who only turned 16 in January, has yet to make his first-team debut but has already been nicknamed 'the new Lionel Messi'.
According to the Spanish newspaper Marca, the 5ft 10in striker, will remain at Vélez for at least two more seasons before moving to England. "Talks with Arsenal are at an advanced stage", Romero said.