The holding midfield role is one that continues to cause Arsene Wenger problems in this summer’s transfer window, but the Frenchman could be lining up a surprise, cost-effective solution. According to reports in the English press, Stephane Mbia has been lined up by the Gunners, having been released by Queens Park Rangers this summer.
A free agent, the Cameroon international represents a radically cheaper option to Wenger’s primary target, Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira. The North London club have been linked with the World Cup winner for much of the summer, but disputes over his price tag and wage bill have prevented a deal from happening.
On the other hand, Mbia does not conduct a transfer fee, and he also offers a wealth of experience when it comes to European football. The midfielder was loaned out of Loftus Road last season to Sevilla, where he made 30 appearances for the La Liga side, and helped them to lift the Europa League title.
However, although Mbia does not carry an asking price, his wage bill is expected to come in at around £60,000 a week. A move that is not entirely without financial sacrifices, the player will be more than just a cheap fix for Wenger.
Arsenal can expect Premier League opposition in the race to sign him as well, as Newcastle United, West Ham and Crystal Palace are all said to be interested. The 28 year old has also played for Rennes and Marseille, but looks likely to continue his career on English shores next season.