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Arsenal set to table Sh3 billion transfer bid for Wanyama

Arsenal are weighing up a £20 million (about Sh3 billion) transfer for Southampton’s defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama, according to reports in the British media.

Wanyama, 23, moved to Southampton from Celtic for £12.5 million (about Sh1.8 billion) in 2013 and Arsene Wenger is believed to have been impressed by his performances at the heart of Saints’ midfield.

The combative Kenyan captain, who is tied into a contract at St Mary’s until 2017, would cost the Gunners at least £20 million, but Wenger is still keen on his transfer, according to The Sun.

Arsenal have long been linked with his Southampton teammate Morgan Schneiderlin, but Wenger has reportedly switched his attention to Wanyama.

In an interview with saintsfc.com on Saturday, Wanyama said he’s excited for the challenge that awaits them in the final eight games of the season.

INFLUENTIAL ROLE

The Kenyan captain has played an influential role for Ronald Koeman’s side this season, helping them to sixth in the table and aiming for a place in Europe next season with just eight games remaining.

A run of just one win from five games during February saw Saints stutter, but they have since recovered well to beat Burnley and Crystal Palace and draw away at Chelsea.

The former Celtic midfielder, who is one of just a handful of first-team members not to be away on international duty this week, believes the squad’s hard work is the key factor behind their change in fortunes.

“We have had a good season so far and we just want to finish strong. We have eight games to go and we need to win as many as we can. We are excited for the challenge ahead of us,” Wanyama said.

“It’s important everyone just takes all the focus to the next game. That makes us concentrate more and we just give everything to that game. By doing that we can get good results. I think we had a bit of luck missing because we weren’t doing enough to get that luck on our side. Now everyone is chipping in well and doing enough to get that luck.

WIN AT HOME

“We are working hard and then luck falls on your side so you can get the results. It was very important to win at home to Burnley. They came here to play, it was an open game and we played very well.”

Wanyama is not in action for Kenya during international break, so has been working hard at Staplewood along with Kelvin Davis, Eljero Elia and Ryan Bertrand.

The quartet have been training with the Under-21s over the last few days and Wanyama says it’s important for the senior players to give their all during the sessions.

“It’s quite tough when there is just four players left behind, training is always a bit harder,” Wanyama admitted.

“But we have been training with the Under-21s and it has been good. It’s important to keep going when you’re training with the young lads. You have to focus and remember they are learning from you so you need to give everything. It has been a good week.”

CONFIDENT

One man that Wanyama has been working with this week is goalkeeper Davis. Following the news of Fraser Forster’s absence for the remainder of the season, the Kenyan says he’s confident the experienced stopper will be an able replacement.

“I think Kelvin is a good goalkeeper,” Wanyama added. “He has a lot of experience, we saw that in the last game. I have faith in him, he will keep us in good condition and we believe in him because he’s a good goalkeeper.”