Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi to join Marseille on loan with obligation to buy

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Arsenal have agreed a deal with Marseille to send them Matteo Guendouzi on a season-long loan with an obligation to buy next summer.

At the end of next season, the Gunners will receive a fee of £10m for the midfielder, who has not featured for the club since June 2020. The 22-year old made 82 appearances for Arsenal following his move from Lorient in the summer of 2018, and was dropped from the squad for the latter stages of the 2019/20 season.

Matteo Guendouzi, Neal MaupayMatteo Guendouzi, Neal Maupay

Matteo Guendouzi and Neal Maupay clash / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

His last appearance for the club was in a 2-1 loss to Brighton in the Premier League last June, in which he notoriously clashed with fellow Frenchman Neal Maupay.

With Mikel Arteta unimpressed at the midfielder’s attitude and conduct, Guendouzi subsequently spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. The Frenchman played 24 times in the league, scoring twice and assisted three times.

That solid return hasn’t done enough to reignite a career at Arsenal, however. It was previously reported that Guendouzi was set to sign a permanent deal with Marseille this summer, although Goal’s Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts has confirmed reports in France stating that the 22-year will in fact spend next term on loan at Les Olympiens before completing a permanent switch worth £10m next summer.

The deal signals a return to French football for the midfielder, who rose to prominence as a starlet for Lorient in Ligue 1 and particularly Ligue 2. Guendouzi will also hope that the move to Marseille, where he will play Europa League football under manager Jorge Sampaoli next term, could inspire a return to the French senior side. Guendouzi has not featured for Les Bleus yet, although was called up to the squad to replace the injured Paul Pogba in September 2019.

The news comes soon after that of Gunners colleague William Saliba also making the switch to the Stade Velodrome this summer. The central defender will too be heading to the Cote d’Azur, although his season-long loan deal will not become permanent at the end of the campaign.

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