Arsenal close to clinching Gervinho deal

Arsenal are poised to complete their first big summer transfer with the £11million signing of Ivory Coast striker Gervinho from Lille.

The 24-year-old is understood to have arrived in London and will undergo a medical, although it remains uncertain whether the move will be confirmed later today.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has so far been frustrated in his transfer plans, highlighted by target Ricardo Alvarez deciding to join Inter Milan instead from Argentina side Velez Sarsfield.

The imminent arrival of Gervinho is expected to hasten the departure of Denmark forward Nicklas Bendtner, who has returned to pre-season training but appears surplus to requirements, with Sporting Lisbon a possible destination.

Full-back Gael Clichy joined title rivals Manchester City earlier this week in a reported £7m deal, and while Wenger probably will not bring in a like-for-like replacement, instead relying on England youngster Kieran Gibbs, defence is an area of concern with Bolton centre-half Gary Cahill a long-term target.

Contract rebel Samir Nasri is due back at London Colney tomorrow, but Arsenal look set to have taken a firm stance over the France midfielder, said to be interesting Manchester United, and also captain Cesc Fabregas, with Barcelona still some way short of the Gunners' £40m valuation.

Arsenal are set to head out on a Far East tour this weekend, by which time Wenger will want his first-team squad to be taking shape as they prepare for a crucial Champions League play-off in the second week of the season.

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