Football

Arsenal closing on Moroccan star

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Marouane Chamakh is 'counting the days' until he finally becomes an Arsenal player - and intends to prove he was worth the wait.

The Morocco international has been a long-term target for the Gunners, having almost moved to Emirates Stadium last summer. However, Chamakh is now set to arrive on a free transfer, worth a reported £50,000-a-week, once his contact with Bordeaux expires.

"I count the days, 11 short days. As time passes, it feels weird. I feel many emotions," Chamakh told French newspaper L'Equipe. "I am delighted to join the English football atmosphere, it is something amazing."

He added: "I love Arsenal's game. I know I will have to adapt but I know the short passing game.

"In February, I made my decision. A departure clause (in a potential new Bordeaux contract) was not logical after refusing Arsenal last summer."

Chamakh had been with Bordeaux for a decade and helped them reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"For my last matches with Bordeaux I can feel a lot of emotion, but I am leaving for a new challenge," he added.

"At Bordeaux I was the club's child. In London, I won't be a kid anymore. I have grown, I have things to prove and I am motivated to achieve it."

The forward maintained he had rejected several other offers - including north-London rivals Tottenham - to sign for the Gunners.

"There were approaches from Liverpool, Tottenham and offers of madness from Russia which were much greater than those from England, but I was focused on playing in the Premier League," said Chamakh.

"I took a risk to stay with one year left on my contract, but I never cheated, I gave myself thoroughly"

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League
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