Arsenal defender set for Bundesliga move

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Bundesliga side Hamburg are poised to sign Arsenal defender Johan Djourou, according to ESPN.

Djourou spent the second half of last season on loan at fellow Bundesliga side, Hannover, after falling down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium. There has been interest from a number of clubs in Germany for Djourou's services for the forthcoming season.

The Switzerland international has been at Arsenal since he joined up with the youth squad at the age of 16. Ten years later and his playing days at Arsenal have already passed. He was given opportunities in the first team but, due to poor performances, Arsene Wenger was forced to bring in more reinforcements.

The purchase of Per Mertesacker and improvement of youth captain Ignasi Miquel meant he fell to as low as fifth place in the centre-back pecking order.

Djourou spent the second half of last season on loan at Hannover and adapted well to the Bundesliga. However, Hannover were unwilling to buy the player - although the club would have taken him on loan again.

His performances meant that other Bundesliga teams had turned their attention to him, but it seems many are unwilling to buy him and/or pay his wages. 

It's now likely that the 26-year-old will join Hamburg on loan for the next season, with a view to a permanent deal. 

Hamburg's sporting director, Oliver Kruezer, told Hamburger Morgenpost: "I am sure the transfer will go through.

"We will definitely know it by Friday."

The Hannover sporting director was frustrated that they couldn't hold on to the Swiss defender, telling Bild: "Djourou's mind is set on Hamburg. That's a real pity for us.

"We went to our limits to keep the player, but Hamburg could do things we couldn't do."

Arsenal will be frustrated by another player that other clubs are willing to loan but not buy. In these scenarios the Gunners usually end up paying a significant amount of the players wages.

However, Arsenal are now free from Andrey Arshavin, Sebastian Squillaci and Denilson, who posed similar problems. Along with Nicolas Bendtner, who is destined to leave now that Arsenal have reportedly accepted five bids for his services, all in the region of £3m.

Without these players on Arsenal's wage bill, they would have freed up in excess of £200,000-per-week, which combined with their new financial muscle, could result in several high-profile arrivals.


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