Arsenal transfer news: Valencia lead chase for Coquelin as he nears Arsenal exit

The combative midfielder wants to leave the Gunners in the January transfer window in search of regular first team football

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Francis Coquelin could leave the club this month with Valencia and several Premier League clubs interested in signing the French midfielder.

The 26-year-old has made just one league start this season and remains behind the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka in the midfield pecking order at Emirates Stadium.

Coquelin featured regularly for Arsenal three seasons ago alongside Santi Cazorla where he formed an impressive midfield partnership after being recalled from a loan spell at Charlton.

La Liga outfit Valencia remain the most likely to side to sign the Frenchman although it’s understood Los Che would prefer a loan agreement with an buy-out clause inserted.

Crystal Palace and West Ham have also been linked although Wenger insisted on Tuesday that he has received no contact from the latter.

“[Coquelin leaving is] a possibility but nothing is decided. It would not be for West Ham,” he told reporters.

“We have no contact with West Ham.”

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Coquelin, who has previously spent time on loan at Lorient and Freiburg, was left out of Wenger’s 18-man squad for their FA Cup third round defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

He’s expected to be the first of several playing staff departures in the next six months with Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mathieu Debuchy all hoping to seal moves away from the club.

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