Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal aim to land Southhampton midfield star Morgan Schneiderlin

By Robert Jones

Arsenal will step up their interest in £25m-rated Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, although the club expects a deal for the Frenchman would only be realistic in the summer rather than the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old is Arsenal's first choice for the defensive midfield role that needs addressing as a matter of urgency in the current transfer window.

They have been linked with a number of targets including Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko, William Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon, Saint Etienne's Loïc Perrin and Seville's Grzegorz Krychowiak but the club's only imminent signing is Polish teenager Krystian Bielik.

Schneiderlin is also a major target for Tottenham in the summer and it is anticipated that he will have to make a decision between the two north London rivals.

Bielik (17), currently at Legia Warsaw, visited the Arsenal training ground last month and is considered one for the future once the club get a deal through that could be worth up to £2m for his Polish club.

An initial bid for the player from Arsenal has already been rejected.

Meanwhile Bielik's compatriot Wojciech Szczesny has found himself in trouble once again.

The Arsenal goalkeeper was caught smoking in the showers after his errors against Southampton in the Premier League defeat on New Year's Day.

Gunners boss Arsène Wenger is understood to have taken a very dim view of the situation and Szczesny will be fined by the club.

Arsenal, who host Stoke City in the league on Sunday, are under pressure for a top four finish.

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