Matteo Guendouzi has departed Arsenal to join Marseille on a season-long loan deal – and this time his exit looks to be for good.
The French midfielder always looked likely to be sold by the Gunners this summer. He was turfed out on loan to Hertha Berlin last season after disciplinary issues got under the skin of Mikel Arteta. This time around, he’s returning to Ligue 1 with OM – but a clause in the deal means he’s unlikely to ever return.
Indeed, Marseille have long been chasing Guendouzi, having held talks with the player back in June. They are said to have offered Arsenal a fee of €10m for Guendouzi, with the Gunners valuing him at nearer €17m.
However, a compromise has now been reached. That will see Guendouzi moving to France for a reported loan fee of €3m. That deal includes an option to buy next summer, reportedly set at €10m.
And with Arteta no longer seeing a future for Guendouzi at Arsenal, his time in London now seems over for good.
That was certainly the indication Guendouzi gave when he said his goodbyes to the club on Monday. Penning an emotional letter to supporters, he thanked them for taking him to their hearts at Arsenal.
He wrote: “Thank you Arsenal. Thanks for everything!
“I discovered and learned so much during my time here. It would be impossible to list everything without forgetting one memory or word… but I will never forget any minute spent with the Gunners jersey.
“I will never forget the Emirates Stadium. I will never forget the fans and I won’t forget the city.”
Guendouzi added: “I will never forget everything I’ve been through here. I will never forget that my only will was to defend with pride Arsenal colours.
“Thanks to all of those who believed in me during my time here, during the good and the bad moments. I can only wish the best to the club and its fans who deserve so much, trust me! Goodbye Arsenal, I will never forget you and will be a Gooner forever.”
Palace, West Ham battle for Nketiah
Guendouzi might not be the last man to leave Arsenal this week with Eddie Nketiah also nearing a transfer elsewhere.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Crystal Palace and West Ham are joined by Bayer Leverkusen as contenders in signing the striker.
Palace were reported to have entered the picture last month. This was before they learned of Arsenal’s stance on Nketiah.
The north London club have since placed the 22-year-old on the transfer list after succumbing to his wish of leaving the Emirates.
Watford have also been credited with an interest.