Chelsea will offer defensive midfielder John Obi-Mikel to Southampton as part of a deal that will see Morgan Schneiderlin join the Blues, according to reports.
Arsenal are believed to be the leaders in the hunt for Schneiderlin’s signature, but the emergence of Francis Coquelin in the anchorman role could force Arsene Wenger into a transfer rethink.
Daily Express reports that Chelsea could snare the Frenchman ahead of the Gunners by sending the long-serving Nigerian to St Mary’s.
The deal could work in Ronald Koeman’s favour, with Southampton being handed a ready-made defensive midfielder to replace Schneiderlin as well as cash to add to the transfer kitty.
Schneiderlin is in search of Champions League football, and the 25-year-old made it known last month that he was not happy with his current situation at Southampton.
“I no longer want to be in front of my TV every Tuesday and Wednesday,” he is quoted as saying by The Metro.
“In August, I wanted to progress my career but the club had let too many players go to sell me.
“Since then, I have had talks with the directors and I want to play at a higher level. It is important, at 25-years-old, to finally play in the Champions League.”
Schneiderlin joined Southampton in 2008 and has since made 230 league appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals.
He has featured nine times for France and was part of the national team squad at the 2014 World Cup, where he made one appearance.