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Arsenal bid on Caen's M'Baye Niang, but deal could take time

"our negotiators are showing great mental strength, though they were little bit short in first half"
"our negotiators are showing great mental strength, though they were little bit short in first half"

According to Caen's president, Arsenal have placed an official bid for teenage striker M'Baye Niang, but there is interest from other teams and the deal will take some time to work out. Jean-Francois Fortin says that the other clubs' inquiries - "two in England and one in Italy" - will delay the process, presumably as the club and player consider other options, and that the deal will be "an issue here for a fortnight" at least.

According to Arseblog News, it's unclear whether this is a different (improved) bid from the one that was reported weeks ago - and was rejected by Caen, with Fortin calling it "not derogatory, but not quite what we wanted." That offer was alleged to be around £5 million, which is the same as the bid the Mirror claims was basically accepted. They say, though, that Caen were upset about the format of the bid (rather than the amount), as they wanted an up-front fee, while Arsenal want to stagger payments.

The Mirror also claim that Niang has entered negotiations with AC Milan, which of course would line up with the "one in Italy" that Fortin mentions. If he's at that stage with Milan it would follow that they've had a bid accepted, or at the very least have been told by Caen that they're close enough that they can talk to the player. Based on Fortin's latest comments, though, it sounds doubtful that the Italians are on the verge of making that move, meaning Arsenal are still very much in the picture.

One would assume that Arsene Wenger's priorities are to complete the Santi Cazorla deal (which, allegedly, he has) and negotiate the Nuri Sahin loan before completing a move for Niang; as a teenager, the striker would have less of an immediate impact and would be a less crushing loss for the 2012-13 campaign than either of the aforementioned midfielders. It appears, though, that Arsenal are serious about his pursuit, so expect further movement on this over the next two weeks or so.

Related: Arsenal Have Bid For French Striker Rejected | Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!