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Arsenal launching bid for Newcastle defender Bassong

Arsenal are ready to offer £10 million for Newcastle United defender Sebastien Bassong.

The Sunday Mirror says the Magpies want to extend the France Under-21 star's existing contract beyond its 2011 expiry date, but fear relegation could cost them their prize asset.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been tracking Bassong's impressive progress since his cut-price summer move from Metz, which Toon chairman Derek Llambias claims cost Newcastle just £500,000.

But Bassong, 22, who has won rave reviews but is one of the Magpies' lowest paid senior players, will weigh up his options carefully.

Everton were after the classy centre-back before ex-boss Kevin Keegan took him to Newcastle.

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