Arsenal look set to launch their January transfer business early after it emerged that they have agreed a fee for Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny, with the club set to negotiate terms with the player ahead of the transfer window.
Arsenal are currently short on midfield options after suffering long-term injuries to Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, and a move for Egypt international Elneny would give manager Arsene Wenger cover in a position that he has seen stretched to the bare bones this season.
Jack Wilshere has not played a minute of competitive football this season after suffering a broken leg in August, while Aaron Ramsey also missed a month of action with a hamstring issue, although the Welshman has since returned and starred in the centre of midfield having begun the season on the right wing.
According to the Mirror, Elneny will need to undergo a full medical and agree personal terms to seal what is being reported as a £5m transfer, but he is not thought to be a like-for-like replacement for Coquelin given that he is not a natural holding midfielder. At present, Mathieu Flamini is filling the defensive role in the Gunners’ midfield, and Elneny would represent a more box-to-box option for Wenger meaning he adds a long-term option once Coquelin and Cazorla return to fitness.
The 23-year-old has already played 39 times for his country, scoring three goals along the way, and he also appeared for Egypt’s Under-23 side at the 2012 London Olympics. He has played 91 Swiss Super League games since joining Basel from Egyptian side El Mokawloon in 2013.