By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Mohamed Elneny has agreed personal terms with Arsenal as his £5.2million transfer draws closer, Football Insider sources understand.
The Basle midfielder has settled the terms of a Gunners contract after a bid was tabled from the London club.
The Gunners are confident their offer for the 23-year-old Egyptian will be accepted by the Swiss club and a deal can be completed in the early days of the January transfer window.
An Arsenal source has told Football Insider that personal terms have been agreed after the Londoners made a contract offer to representatives of Elneny.
The player is ready to undergo a medical and clinch a move to Emirates Stadium by the time the January transfer window opens next week.
Arsene Wenger has sanctioned an early 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 green light to land Elneny.
Arsenal slipped to a 4-0 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day as the Gunners were over-run in midfield by the home side, who were inspired by an outstanding display from Victor Wanyama.
Elneny, who has won 40 caps for the Egypt national team, fits the bill for Arsenal because of his pedigree, versatility and relatively good value.
He joined Basle, initially on loan, in January 2013 and has won three consecutive Swiss league titles with the club.