According to the Mirror late last night - Arsenal are eyeing a last minute move for versatile French defender Mapou Yanga – Mbiwa from under the noses of Newcastle. Newcastle have already agreed a fee with Mbiwa’s club – Montpellier and the deal is apparently close to being completed – whether Arsenal’s supposed interest has any impact on that though (or is simply the work of an agent haggling for a better deal) is yet to be seen.
Mbiwa can play at right back, centre half or in a holding midfield role – meaning that he could provide much needed cover across a number of positions and enhance squad depth significantly. He could also provide serious competition for Jenkinson should Sagna leave in the summer.
Do we have a genuine interest? Well we have been linked with him for long enough - and a quick glance across his history on our site will show that. But whilst I imagine we are interested in him (A French versatile centre half – join the dots yourself) – there is clearly something that has held Wenger back from making a move for him in the past or we would have done by now. Whether Newcastle’s accepted bid pushes Wenger into action I’m not so sure. We are in dire need of numbers across the squad – and admittedly everyone will be more interested in hearing about offensive signings – but what we need to remember is that we are an injury and a suspension away from Squeakylacci playing. And that my friends is a problem. Signing a defender now will not be a priority for Wenger – but in the summer we will become short on numbers (especially if Sagna goes) – so this in itself might make him act now. Whether we want to move for someone who openly wants a move to Old Trafford though is another case entirely.
Follow me on the twitter: @andifoster