Gunners chase new French international

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Arsenal are being linked with a move for French international defender Michael Ciani.

The 26-year-old centre back made his debut for Les Bleus against Spain in March, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly keen on strengthening his defence with the player's services.

Wenger appears poised to land Sevilla defender Sebastien Squillaci after the two clubs agreed a fee, and the Frenchman is on his way to the Emirates to complete a medical before officially signing for the Gunners.

The News of the World reports that Arsenal would turn their attentions to Ciani, should Squillaci fail to finalise a move to north London.

A £15 million price tag would provide the Gunners with an obvious stumbling block, and Wenger would be keen to negotiate a better deal for the well-travelled Bordeaux defender.

Ciani started his career at Racing Paris before joining Belgian league side Charleroi in 2003. A successful season there saw Auxerre sign the player, although three unsuccessful seasons at the Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps saw Ciani loaned out twice, eventually moving to Lorient in 2007.

A €4 million move to Bordeaux followed two season later, and the defender has continued to build on his reputation as one of the best defenders in Ligue 1. Scoring four times in 33 appearances, Ciani also chipped in with valuable goals for Jean Tigana's side.

Marouane Chamakh, a former team-mate from his time at les Girondins, could play a part in any deal should the Gunners decide to move for Ciani, even if they complete the Squillaci transfer later today.

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