Arsenal could swoop for Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue if their £17million deal for Yann M'Vila falls through.
Arsene Wenger has been tracking M'Vila but has been forced to come up with a plan B due to confirmed interest from big-spending Manchester City.
According to The Sun, talks with the highly-rated M'Vila have stalled, leading Wenger to turn his attention to Capoue.
Capoue, 23, joined Toulouse on a youth contract in 2005 after the club beat Lille, Auxerre and Bordeaux to his signature.
He made his full debut at the end of 2007 and his current contract runs until 2014.
Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid have been keeping a close eye on 6ft 2in Capoue and
Barcelona had him on a list of alternatives during their long pursuit of former Gunners skipper Cesc Fabregas.
Capoue plays as a defensive midfielder but is also comfortable at the back.
He has represented France up to Under 21 level.