Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is set to make a £21.8 million deal for Bordeaux star Yoann Gourcuff to replace captain Cesc Fabregas should he move to Barcelona this summer.
The Gunners have already discussed their interest in the France international with his father Christian and Wenger wants to make the midfielder Arsenal’s record signing this summer.
"While every effort is being made to keep Cesc at the club the boss is working towards an alternative,” an Arsenal source told The Sun.
"He believes Gourcuff's finesse and grace will fit perfectly to Arsenal's way of playing and will make it an almost seamless transition if Cesc does go."
Fabregas is keen to make a move to childhood club Barcelona and while Arsenal has been hesitant to sell the Spain international, it is believed that the Gunners would be willing to let their captain leave for £45 million despite slapping a £80 million price tag on the 23-year-old.
Gourcuff, who will be relied upon as France’s playmaker at this summer’s World Cup, has a £21.8 million release clause in his contract at Bordeaux.
Wenger will have a hard time lowering Bordeaux’s asking price for Gourcuff as the French club’s president Jean Louis Triand is still angry with the Gunners for nabbing striker Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer earlier this summer.
Gourcuff came to Bordeaux from AC Milan for £14 million last summer and with the Ligue 1 giants strapped for cash they could let the midfielder leave in the transfer window.
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