Lazio are prepared to offer Cristian Ledesma a new contract to ward off interest from QPR and Arsenal.
Ledesma has been linked by the Premier League duo for a number of weeks, and the 32-year-old’s agent came out yesterday to confirm that the Gunners had a firm interest in him.
With his contract expiring over the summer, it is expected that clubs will look to sign him on a free next year, but the Daily Mail reported that Arsene Wenger could be forced to move as early as January for the once-capped Italian international, having to pay a fee for the midfielder due to some severe injury worries in the middle of the park.
A Serie A veteran, Ledesma has totalled more than 300 games in the Italian top flight with Lazio and Lecce, whom he joined from Boca Juniors in 2001. He has been with his current club since 2006, although he has played only a small role this season, turning out in just four games in Serie A and two further in the Coppa Italia.
Regardless of his lack of appearances for I Biancocelesti this term, TMW are reporting that Ledesma will not be leaving Rome this year, with talks for a new deal set to begin in the coming weeks.
However, the report also indicates that, should no deal be struck, Lazio will willingly allow the 32-year-old to move to the Premier League in the summer should he desire to.
Having already shown an interest in him, Arsenal will undoubtedly attempt to prevent Ledesma from signing a new contract with Lazio so as to bring him to the Emirates in the summer, although QPR are also said to be tracking his availability, and could look to make a move should they retain their Premier League status by the close of the 2014/15 season.