Arsenal are going head to head against European heavyweights Barcelona for the signature of Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue.
Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger, keen on adding a tough-tackling central midfielder to his squad this summer, turned his attentions towards Capoue after seeing his interest in Rennes man Yann M’Vila drop due to the player’s regular temperamental and disciplinary issues.
New Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova too has been tracking the progress of Capoue, and is ready to make a bid for the youngster after seeing Seydou Keita leave the Catalan club over the summer.
Toulouse manager Alain Casanova was suggestive of the player’s possible exit this summer as well when asked last week, saying: “I hope to keep him [Capoue], but if we get an offer we can’t refuse we will have to negotiate. He’s a very good footballer with the potential to succeed in a great team in the best league in the world.”
23-year old Capoue is reported to cost around £9.5 million, which is much less than what either club would have had to cough up for M’Vila, with the two clubs who have no love lost for each other expected to try stealing ahead of the other for the talented defensive midfielder.