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Arsenal eyeing Chelsea and Newcastle target

Attacking reinforcements are on Arsene Wenger's mind as January approaches, with AC Milan's M'Baye Niang lined up.

With Arsenal seemingly mounting a title charge this season, manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly looking to sign another striker in the January transfer window.

Despite Olivier Giroud's outstanding start to the season, Wenger has been linked with a handful of strikers including Karim Benzema, Jackson Martinez, Diego Costa and Demba Ba, and a number of other forwards have also been mentioned with January drawing ever closer.

The latest name rumoured to be a target for Arsenal is 18 year old AC Milan forward M'Baye Niang, with a £6m fee speculated in the press.

The youngster was signed from French club Caen in 2012, as the Italian giants beat off interest from a number of sides including Everton and even Arsenal themselves.

Niang, who qualifies to play for Senegal at international level, went on trial with Wenger's side last year whilst still with Caen, and he impressed enough for the Gunners to make a bid for the starlet, only for Niang to choose a move to the San Siro instead.

Now, with Japanese international Keisuke Honda set to arrive and Alessandro Matri secured in the summer from Juventus, Niang has gradually found himself slipping down the pecking order, and his situation has alerted other Premier League sides such as Newcastle and Chelsea, with both looking to prise him away from Milan.

However, any Arsenal move for Niang would bring Wenger's summer acquisition of Yaya Sanogo into question. A fellow French youth international, Sanogo was signed to a long-term contract and the 2013 Golden Boy Award nominee is expected to feature heavily in the club's future, and his impressive goalscoring record for Auxerre last season will give fans hope that he will prove to be a worthwhile signing.

But with interest in Niang reportedly heating up, Sanogo could himself out of favour, with Niang two years younger than 20 year old Sanogo. Niang has more potential and has shown flashes of brilliance at Milan, and if Wenger was disappointed that he couldn't secure his signature last year, now could be the time to land him – but his signing of Sanogo may look questionable.

The one caveat to the comparison between Niang and Sanogo is that Niang offers the versatility of being able to play on the flanks as well as up front, and this may well be the reason that Wenger is targeting Niang despite already having Sanogo in the squad. Either way, it seems that despite the blockbuster signing of Mesut Ozil, Wenger will stick with his tried and tested policy of developing young players.

image: © Matt and Kim Rudge

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