Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Arsenal Star Sparks Bidding War After Confirming Exit

Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy has sparked a bidding war for his services after he reportedly told the Gunners hierarchy he no longer wants to be at the club, with Arsene Wenger now set to cash in on a defender with just one year remaining on his contract.The long-serving Arsenal defender has been linked with a move away from the Emirates in recent months and with his contract expiring in the summer of 2012, this could be the last occasion the Gunners have to cash-in on the French full-back after he suggested he would not agree a new deal at the club."Will I prolong my contract? I don't know and I don't think about it," Clichy told French newspaper L'Equipe recently. "The season is still long. I will have time to think about it in the summer."
Since his comments were made, media reports have revealed that contract negotiations broke down repeatedly between Clichy and Arsenal, as he looks for an increase to his £50,000-per-week wage packet. A transfer to Italy may top his priority list, with the favourable tax incentives meaning he would effectively be earning more.

However, according to Talksport, Bayern Munich are said to be tracking Clichy and could bid in the summer as they attempt to fill the problematic left-back role at the club, whilst goal.com have exclusively reported that Inter Milan will also bid for the 25-year-old.

Bayern recently announced that manager Louis van Gaal will leave at the end of the season to be replaced by Jupp Heynckes who will be looking to bring new players into the club. According to goal.com, sources close to the French star have confirmed he will leave Arsenal in the summer, and Bayern Munich now seem to top the list of potential suitors.

Bayern finished third in the Bundesliga, 10 points behind champions Borussia Dortmund, and have consistently been linked with a move for a number of left-backs, including Everton's Leighton Baines and Newcastle defender Jose Enrique.

However, according to sources in Germany it now seems the Bundesliga side have turned their attentions to Clichy and are willing to pay around £7million for the experienced defender.

Clichy has been the first choice left-back at Arsenal since the departure of Ashley Cole to Chelsea in 2006, but in recent months has come under scrutiny for his performances as the Gunners have struggled defensively.

The north London club has highly-rated youngster Kieran Gibbs in reserve, with many suggesting the 21-year-old is ready to make the step up to first team football on a more regular basis.

Whether Arsene Wenger would be prepared to let Clichy leave the club may come down to whether the defender decides to sign a new contract. Wenger would not want Clichy to enter the final year of his contract when he would be able to leave the club on a free in the summer of 2012 - it is believed he will demand £5.5 million for the full-back, but increased interest may drive that price higher as the Gunners seek the best price.

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