Arsenal agree £2.5m sale of longest-serving defender

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Arsenal defender Johan Djourou will sign permanently for Hamburger SV this summer after the Bundesliga giants activated a £2.5m purchase option in the Swiss international's loan deal, according to German publication Handelsblatt.

Djourou has spent the last two seasons on loan in the Bundesliga, after growing tired at a lack of first-team opportunities at the Emirates, with a year at Hannover followed by his current spell at Hamburg.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger doesn't view Djourou as part of his plans despite keeping the centre-back in North London for nearly seven seasons, sanctioning a permanent move to Hamburg which will see the 27-year-old sign a two-year contract at the close of the campaign.

Hamburg coach Mirko Slomka confirmed the news in a brief insight to Handelsblatt, declaring: "He is for me a great stabiliser in the centre of defence and that is why I am pleased he will remain for the next two years at HSV."

Djourou's Arsenal career will largely be viewed as one where potential went unfulfilled, with early promise eventually fizzling out despite making more than 100 senior appearances for the club.

The Gunners can now plan to put the cash towards their own recruitment drive, with a new centre-forward surely high on Wenger's list of priorities.

Wenger has managed to get by with three central defenders for the vast majority of the campaign, thanks largely to the performances of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, but purely in terms of numbers the Arsenal boss may also decide to add quality in that position during the close season.

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Johan Djourou
Premier League

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