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Arsenal to bid £40m for Ribery

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Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes he is now close to -pulling off one of the transfer coups of the summer and -winning the race to sign the Bayern Munich winger.

Until the last couple of weeks Ribery, 26, was destined for one of EuropeÌs giants with Man United, Barcelona and Real Madrid all in the hunt.

But despite the huge interest and several offers of around £30m, Bayern stubbornly refused to sell for anything less than £40m.

And that suddenly left Arsenal in pole position, even though Wenger has long made it clear he cannot compete with his rivals when it comes to buying the biggest names in the game.

Yet an offer of £30m plus £10m-rated Danish hitman Nicklas Bendtner to make up the difference appears to have struck a chord with new Bayern coach Louis van Gaal.

The Dutchman has made it clear he does not want unsettled players at the club and reckons that ArsenalÌs cash-and-player deal represents good business for the Bundesliga boys.

Manchester City are the only other club still monitoring developments but Ribery has told the big-spending Premier League outfit he wants Champions League football next term.

It is that, combined with the strong French connection at the Emirates, which is convincing Ribery his future lies with the north London club.

Wenger has been desperate to keep the negotiations under wraps to avoid alerting United or Barca.

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