• Premier League

M'Bengue claims Arsenal interest

ESPN staff
August 21, 2012
Is Cheikh M'Bengue on Arsenal's radar? © Getty Images

Toulouse full-back Cheikh M'Bengue has claimed that Arsenal are keen to sign him this summer.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger noted on Monday that he was hoping to add a defender to his squad before the transfer window closes, and M'Bengue believes he is that player.

The French-born Senegal international hopes Toulouse will not stand in his way if Arsenal make a reasonable bid.

"Arsenal's interest? To be honest I didn't expect it," M'Bengue said, according to L'Equipe. "When such a big club is thinking about you, it is great pleasure, but you are above all surprised.

"It is really flattering. Moreover, the Premier League is the league where I would like to play."

He added: "I am only focused on the pitch. My agent is managing that and I believe he had talks with Toulouse's chairman.

"I didn't forecast I would be leaving, I have two years remaining on my contract, but it would be difficult to accept to be forced to stay. [But] I have no agreement to leave or any clause on my contract.

"But you cannot refuse Arsenal, if everyone can benefit from it. I hope if there is an exciting proposition, the chairman won't block me."

However, club chairman Olivier Sadran suggested the club would resist M'Bengue's departure, with the Ligue 1 season already underway and little time remaining to find a replacement.

"To me everything is very clear. The championship has started," Sadran said. "No one else will leave now."

The 24-year-old is predominantly a left-back, although Wenger hinted that he would like reinforcements across his backline.

"We are looking to bring one more midfielder in of course, and maybe one defender as well because we still feel we are short in some positions," he said.

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