Gunners eye Abidal swoop

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Arsenal are weighing up a move for Barcelona defender Eric Abidal according to

The 32-year-old Frenchman is approaching the end of his contract at Camp Nou, and is free to speak to clubs outside of Spain this month.

The La Liga champions are keen to keep Abidal in Catalunya, but the full-back has hinted he may end his five-year association with Barcelona.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is short on defensive cover at the Emirates Stadium, and is believed to be attracted by Abidal's versatility - his ability to play right across the back-four could make him a valuable addition to the Arsenal squad.

Reports yesterday suggested that Abidal was also a reported target for Liverpool and Manchester City, meaning a trio of Barclays Premier League clubs could be vying for his free-transfer signature.

Barcelona are believed to have offered the defender a two-year extension, but after negotiations stalled Arsenal are now ready to make an offer before the close of the transfer window.

With 60 international caps for France and having features at two World Cup finals and one European Championships, Abidal would bring a wealth of experience to whoever he chooses to join, and having enjoyed both domestic and European success, would be regarded as a major transfer coup.

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