Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger looks asleep at the switch yet again as arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur look likely to secure the services of outstanding French defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue, according to this report from French outlet Football 365.
Update (Aug 8 2:20pm): Toulouse's President has confirmed the move, according to various reports, such as this from The Metro.
Capoue would be the answer to many a Gooner prayer, given Arsenal's lack of a proper holding midfielder. The reported price—£8.6 million—will only add to the frustration.
While Capoue is renowned for his defensive contribution, he is hardly a one-dimensional midfield bruiser. Far and away Toulouse's best performer—average WhoScored? rating of 7.5—Capoue is as capable with the ball as he is without; he takes 1.3 shots a match and led his club in successful dribbles last season.
This sort of player—one with box-to-box potential, but first and foremost a holding midfielder—is exactly the sort Arsenal have needed for years now.
And yet, what is Arsenal up to these days? Let's consult a report from Abu Dhabi outlet The National...
The chairman of Al Ain's board of directors says the club will consider only 'serious' offers for Omar Abdulrahman, an indication that Arsenal's invitation for the midfielder to go to London for a one-week trial will be ignored.
If the reports out of France hold true, consider the reality of the situation: While Spurs work behind the scenes to secure a top-notch player at a cut-rate price, Wenger makes another bid that only succeeds in insulting the club with which he is trying to negotiate.
That's not all, though. Arsene was sure not to put all his eggs in one basket, and did happen to successfully offer a trial to Ligue 2 starlet Alharbi El Jadeyaoui, according to this report from The Daily Star.
On the bright side, at least they're midfielders.