By Wayne Veysey | Chief correspondent
Arsenal are preparing to shatter their transfer record by lodging a £25 million (€28m) bid to prise Yann M'Vila from Rennes on deadline day, Goal.com can reveal.
The France international is Arsene Wenger's principal target in the last hours of the window and the manager is increasingly confident he can deliver a signing that would be a huge statement of intent.
Arsenal have already had a £22m (€24.8m) offer for the midfield anchorman rejected but sources have told Goal.com they will make another concerted attempt to sign the 21-year-old.
Officials have been locked in negotiations with Rennes on Tuesday and the two clubs are getting closer to reaching an agreement.
Wenger himself was in France, although he will return to London to take training with the non internationals on Wednesday, after Arsenal were given two days off following their 8-2 humiliation at Manchester United.
Goal.com understands that M'Vila is the main priority for Arsenal after a whirlwind 24 hours in which they have completed the signing of South Korea captain Park Chu-Young for an initial £3m (€3.4m) fee and reached agreements to buy defensive duo Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos for a combined £14.1m (€16m).
The Germany centre-back and Brazil left-back both underwent medicals on Tuesday and are expected to finalise their moves shortly.
Wenger is still in the market for another experienced centre-back, although, as Goal.com revealed earlier on Tuesday, he has cooled his interest in Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Scott Dann.
Arsenal have also made an enquiry for Fulham's Clint Dempsey but have not yet opened talks on a possible deal for the player valued at £10m (€11.2m by his club).
With the window due to shut by 11pm on Wednesday, sources regard defensive midfield and centre-back signings as more likely.
M'Vila is contracted to Rennes until 2015 but Arsenal believe there is a strong will on the player's behalf to follow what is a well trodden path from Ligue 1 to the Emirates Stadium.
The French club are believed to be holding out for £30m (€33.8m) but Arsenal are hopeful an agreement can be reached on a £25m (€28m deal).
Wenger has received excellent reports on the qualities of M'Vila and his ability to bring greater steel to a midfield that has been found sorely lacking in that department in their opening three Premier League fixtures of the season.