Song close to Barcelona switch as Arsenal line up Kouyate

Alex Song is closing in on a move to Barcelona as Arsenal prepare to launch a bid for Anderlecht star Cheikhou Kouyate a Squeaky Bum Time source tells us.

The Cameroon international was one of the Gunners star performers last season and caught the eye of Tito Vilanova with the new Barca boss after striking up a productive understanding with Robin Van Persie.

Vilanova is keen to reinforce his sides defensive strength having allowed Seydou Keita to leave earlier in the summer and has made Song his priority target.

There is no suggestion that the 24-year-old is angling to leave the Emirates Stadium but we’re told a deal isn’t far away from being completed amid reports the Spanish giants have submitted a £12.5 million bid.

And Gerard Pique has added further fuel to the flames acknowledging the midfielder would be a welcome addition to the Catalan ranks telling El Mundo Deportivo:  “I have followed his career and he has become a very good player.

“He is physically very strong and is good with the ball at his feet.

“We are open to his arrival,” he added. “If he comes, and from what I have read he could do, we would love to have him.”

Arsene Wenger will use the money raised by the sale of Song to fund a move for Senegal defender Kouyate after he impressed for his country at the London Olympics earlier this month.

The 22-year-old has been watched by scouts from Gunners, Newcastle United and West Ham United in recent weeks and Wenger is hoping to steal a march in the race for his signature.

Kouyate currently ineligible for a British work permit but that is unlikely to deter the Frenchman having been on his radar since before his move to the Belgian side in 2008.

His agent Tedir Bekir revealed on Thursday that there is plenty of interest in his client saying:

“I have received several calls during the Games.

“Almost every English team, but also Russian and Turkish teams. His versatility is an asset.”