Monday, 28 December 2009

ARSENE WENGER is poised to launch a £12million January bid for French international striker Andre Pierre Gignac.

Arsenal's front line has been hit by an ankle ligaments injury to Robin van Persie, which will see him miss the rest of the season, while Nicklas Bendtner is sidelined with a knee problem.

Gunners boss Wenger has admired the 6ft 2in Toulouse forward for months and believes that with the French club struggling in their league, he can snatch his man despite him being contracted until 2013.

Gignac is unhappy after managing just five goals this season after grabbing 24 in 37 games last term. He is keen to get away from Toulouse - especially as Wenger would double his wages to £40,000 a week at the Emirates.

The striker has netted four times in 10 outings for his country.

A source close to the negotiations said: "He's been happy at Toulouse but knows this is the time to leave and the prospect of Champions League football is too good to resist."

Arsenal will be seeking to build on their four-match unbeaten league run at home today to Aston Villa today, who have not lost in seven games.

But the injury worries are mounting, with influential captain Cesc Fabregas a doubt due to a hamstring problem. The Spain international has been missing since the December 16 draw at Burnley and withdrew from training on Thursday due to the problem.

"There is still an uncertainty about him," said Wenger. "He was supposed to practice on Christmas Eve but he still had some pain in his leg.

"We still don't know if he will be available for the squad. It is 50-50."

Tomas Rosicky remains out, along with full-back Gael Clichy (back) and Johan Djourou (knee).

However, there is good news for Wenger with Armand Traore ready to return after his hamstring problem.

Wenger added: "Compared to the Hull game, we have Traore available again. But he is the only one back."


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