Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma is believed to see Arsenal as his preferred transfer destination, but the Gunners won't move until at least the summer despite holding a 'genuine interest' in the Ivorian.
Despite Brighton's struggles this season, Bissouma has caught the eye with his commanding and energetic midfield performances, and it is thought he is being watched closely by Liverpool and Manchester United among others.
They suggest the Gunners are very enthusiastic about the possibility of luring him to the Emirates from the south coast, but cannot justify a deal in January, as they prioritise the recruitment of a more creative central midfielder. As Mesut Ozil nears an exit, Emiliano Buendia is believed to be their primary target, while 90min understands Celtic's Ryan Christie is also being considered.
It's said that Bissouma is very much on the agenda come the summer, however, and Football London source a 'close friend' of the player, who says that the 24-year-old sees Arsenal as his preferred landing spot. So much so that he would reject interest from elsewhere to make a move happen.
Late last month, Brighton manager Graham Potter confirmed that there has been no formal contact about Bissouma's services, and that the rumours about his future have been just that. He expressed a determination to keep hold of one of his prized assets and ensure he continues his development at the Amex.
"There have been no approaches," he told PA just before Christmas. "As I've said before, just because it's in the newspaper, doesn't necessarily mean it's true.
"My focus on Yves is how I can help him improve and I think he's still got some improvement to do.
"That's my focus with him, to try and help him reach his full potential. He's got some work to do yet, so that's what we are focusing on."