Gunners wanted France international to shore-up midfield.
Arsenal failed in a deadline day bid for Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue, according to the Daily Telegraph.
After selling Alex Song to Barcelona in the summer, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been forced to use Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey as auxiliary holding midfielders this term, with Abou Diaby often unfit.
But it has emerged that Capoue, 24, was the man Wenger wanted to bring to the Emirates last month only for Toulouse to reject a late bid.
The France international has been on fine form for the Ligue 1 outfit this season, impressing in a holding midfield role.
Capoue can also cover at centre-half, another position Wenger has had problems with this season.
But Toulouse lost Moussa Sissoko to Newcastle United last month and appear to have been understandably reluctant to allow Capoue to join his compatriot in the Premier League.