By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes| Premier League expert with experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Mohamed Elneny has finally been granted a visa and will fly to London on Wednesday to complete his move to Arsenal, Football Insider sources understand.
The Egyptian midfielder had already been successful in his work permit application but was waiting to be conferred with a visa by UK immigration.
With the documentation now in place, an Arsenal source has told Football Insider that Elneny will fly from Paris to sign for the Gunners.
Elneny has been holed up in the French capital since his last training session with Basle a week ago.
As revealed by Football Insider he had agreed the terms of a four-and-a-half-year contract with Arsenal worth £65,000-a-week in late December and the Swiss club accepted the Gunners’ bid of £5.2million.
Speaking at his media briefing on Monday morning, Wenger admitted that the deal had not been finalised as quickly as he had hoped.
“We are positive this week it can happen,” the Arsenal manager said. “There are a lot of work permit problems and other paperwork. As long as it’s not definitely signed, you have to be cautious. But I’m optimistic about the case.”
Wenger had said last Thursday that he expected the signing to be completed within “two to three days”.
The midfielder underwent a medical in Paris a fortnight ago and said his goodbyes to Basle team-mates at the start of last week.
Elneny will not be registered in time to face Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night but Arsenal are hopeful he could be available for selection against Stoke on Sunday.
Wenger has sanctioned an early January move for a central midfielder after long-term injuries robbed him of the services of first-choice pair Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla until at least March and possibly longer.
With Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta out of contract next summer, and Jack Wilshere still absent through injury, Wenger has given the go ahead to land Elneny.
Elneny fits the bill for Arsenal because of his pedigree, ability to play in a number of midfield positions and relatively good value.
He joined Basle, initially on loan, in January 2013 and has won three consecutive Swiss league titles with the club.