West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame will reportedly be made one of Arsenal's top transfer targets when the winter transfer window opens in January, with manager Arsene Wenger keen to add to the Gunners already-strong midfield.
According to reports during the week, the north London club are believed to be considering a £4 million move for the Senegal international as Wenger has lost patience with Abou Diaby and doesn't feel that the likes of Gervinho are consistent enough for first-team football.
Arsene Wenger has abandoned his faith in Abou Diaby and is ready to move for a midfield anchorman in the forthcoming window.
The Arsenal manager has been alerted to the potential availability of the Senegal international, who, as West Ham chairman David Gold admitted on Friday, has a release clause in his contract that can be triggered in January.
Sources have told Goal.com that the clause is "close to £4 million", a sum that Wenger regards as good value.
Gold did not reveal the size of the release clause but, responding to media reports, admitted that it does exist. "Diame does have a release clause in his three-year contract. He joined us from Wigan on a free transfer," the West Ham co-owner tweeted.
Manager Sam Allardyce also commented that he was powerless to prevent a transfer from taking the talented midfielder away from Upton Park—stating that the release clause in his contract does mean that he could leave the club in a cut-price deal this winter.
There is always a situation where you are powerless to keep a player. Because of the size of the fee, you can't turn it down and the chairman says, "We can’t say no, we've got to move him on".
But I won't be disclosing a player’s contract.
There is always a chance you will lose football players when they start getting attention, because everybody is searching for better players. All that distraction starts now and doesn't finish until January 31, when the transfer window is closed. That’s why we should all have a break.
West Ham obviously want to secure a deal with the 25-year-old that does not involve a release clause, but with a number of key Premier League clubs interested in Diame, it appears that the Hammers will have a real fight on their hands to keep hold of their talented midfielder.
Arsenal are believed to be leading the way for Diame, with Wenger thought to be very keen on the Senegal international; the only question being what his role in the current Gunners starting side would be, with a number of key players already present midfield.
By the time that you consider the north London club have Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain to play in midfield, it seems unlikely that Diame would hold down a regular starting position at the Emirates should he make a move across London this winter.
The 25-year-old is no doubt talented enough—as we've seen already this season—and would provide an excellent anchor for Arsenal in defensive midfield.
But whether or not he will feel that the switch across town is worth the sacrifice in starting time he would have to make is another question entirely.
£4-5 million would be a good deal for the Gunners and money that West Ham could no doubt put to good use over the winter transfer window, but with the east London club currently only four points outside of a top four position, it would seem bizarre to sell the player that has been—statistically—one of their best players in the Premier League so far this year.
Should the Gunners make a move for Mohamed Diame this winter?
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