French ace plots Arsenal exit

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Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby has admitted that he would love to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The Frenchman has made great strides in north London since joining the club from Auxerre in 2005 and - although relatively injury prone - he has steadily established himself as a key member of the Arsenal squad.

Currently serving a three-match domestic suspension after being sent off for Arsenal against Newcastle, the 24-year-old is eagerly awaiting the Gunners' Champions League clash with Barcelona next week - a club he dreams of eventually playing for.

“At some point I would like to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, but I would prefer to play for Barca, because I prefer their style," the Parisian told Spanish publication Don Balon.

Arsenal will host Barca next Wednesday in the last 16 of Europe's premier competition and have unfinished business to attend to against their Catalan counterparts.


The two sides met in at the quarter-final stage last year - with the Spaniards running out 6-3 aggregate winners - and Diaby knows Arsenal will have their work cut out again if they are to upset the odds.

“We played them last season, and we found them at their highest degree of effectiveness, both individually and collectively. This year will be the same, so we know what to expect. Barca are a great team, and this year they are very strong," added the Arsenal no.2.

“Messi is the best in the world. We all know that the Argentine is a great player who can make the difference at any time, but we cannot focus only on him.”

However, before Arsenal can focus on the La Liga leaders, they must negotiate Wolves on Saturday in order to keep their hopes of winning the Barclays Premier League alive.

Arsenal enter the contest with injury concerns over Johan Djourou, - who limped off at St James' Park - however, the Swiss remains confident he will be fit for the weekend.

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