Arsenal's defensive lapses (or was it Bacary Sagna's?) in their 2-1 Premier League defeat to Chelsea have prompted the Mirror to run a line on Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, purportedly Newcastle-bound, but perhaps the subject of a late Gunners offer as well.

That Per Mertesacker has been Arsenal's best defender this season highlights the concern at the Emirates Stadium. Thomas Vermaelen is struggling as captain and Laurent Koscielny is still prone to the clumsiness which marred his debut campaign with the club.

mapou yanga mbiwa

Newcastle have already agreed a fee for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

Yanga-Mbiwa, capped three times by France, played in both of Montpellier's defeats to Arsenal in the Champions League and could join up with former teammate Olivier Giroud.

Any success is dependent on his transfer to Francophiles Newcastle breaking down. Already this month the Magpies have lost out on a Frenchman after Loïc Rémy rejected their overtures in favour of Queens Park Rangers and more money, but have had a bid accepted for Yanga-Mbiwa.

They too are smarting from a 2-1 defeat after Reading's comeback at St James's Park on Saturday.

Staying with Arsenal, and they have been offered moody genius Yoann Gourcuff on loan by Lyon, according to the Mail.

Gourcuff's £80,000-a-week wages are proving too much for the French club, and although purists would relish Gourcuff strutting his stuff in the Premier League he is another Frenchman to have suffered from post-2010 World Cup blues. He did do this for Bordeaux once though...

Anyone notice how well Manchester City are doing without Mario Balotelli? Maybe Roberto Mancini has as well, because momentum is gathering apace the Italian could finally be heading home and to AC Milan.

mario balotelli

Time to say goodbye?

The Guardian report both clubs will discuss a possible transfer on Monday, less than three weeks after Balotelli's scuffle with Mancini at City's Carrington training ground.

Liverpool meanwhile have been told to increase their bid for Internazionale midfielder Philippe Coutinho, 20, after they had an £8m bid rejected.

philippe coutinho

Nice hair

Coutinho, of the attacking variety, is not exactly the experienced forward the Anfield club need.

Florent Malouda, in case you were wondering, is still at Chelsea. He has also not played all season because the club don't want him. He is earning £70,000 a week. So who may come calling for him? Why, QPR of course.

The Mail say Harry Redknapp may take a punt on the ostracised Frenchman, who has been forced to train with Chelsea's Under-21s this season.

florent malouda

Remember me?

Yann M'Vila looks like he will not be joining QPR. Although keen on a Premier League switch, Rubin Kazan and Zenit St Petersburg are two Russian clubs interested in the Rennes midfielder.