Arsenal face competition for Imbula

The London Evening Standard is leading with the story of the battle for the services of French youngster Gilbert Imbula.

Imbula, who plays for Guingamp in his homeland, is being tracked by Arsene Wenger, but he now faces competition for the player from AS Roma.

Wenger has a proven track record for buying French youngsters, spanning back as far as 1996 when Patrick Vieira was signed just before the philosophical manager arrived from managing in the J-League.

Other buys in the past that have been successful include Abou Diaby and Laurent Koscielny, although sometimes his eye for good home talent doesn’t work out – as Pascal Cygan can testify.

Wenger is willing to spend £8m of the Gunners’ transfer budget on a player for the future. Imbula has made over 90 appearances for Guingamp since breaking into their first team setup four years ago.

However, the 20-year-old is also now being monitored by former Serie A giants Roma, according to Sky Italia.

Last week, Roma appointed former Lille coach Rudi Garcia as their new manager.

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