x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Manchester City on alert if Arsenal unload Clichy

Arsenal resigned to losing left-back and the club from Eastlands could move for the France international to provide cover for Kolarov.

Clichy's strength on the left side could be of importance to Manchester City.
Clichy's strength on the left side could be of importance to Manchester City.

Arsenal have resigned themselves to selling Gael Clichy, their French international left-back, whose availability is expected to alert Manchester City.

The north London club have made it known in football circles they are willing to sell the 25 year old, who has shown no indication of signing an extension to a contract that expires next summer.

Rather than risk allowing the player, who has won 10 caps for his country, to leave on a free transfer, Arsenal are prepared to entertain offers for a player they signed from Cannes in 2003.

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, is thought to have lined up Leighton Baines, the Everton defender, as a replacement.

City are known to be in the market for a left-sided player who can provide cover and competition for Alexsander Kolarov and also allow the Serbian to play in a more advanced role.

Clichy will appeal to Roberto Mancini, the City manager, because of his Champions League experience, his pace and the fact he will not require a period to acclimatise himself to the pace of the Premier League.

The fact Clichy will be available at a reduce price — around £6million (Dh35m) — will also appeal to the financiers at Eastlands who are conscious of the looming Financial Fair regulations set out by Fifa.

Liverpool are also reported to be interested in signing Clichy but should he end up in Manchester, it would be the third time in two years Arsenal have sold one of their international players to City.

In 2009, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure both swapped the Emirates Stadium for Eastlands.

Cesc Fabregas is also set to depart Arsenal this summer but AC Milan yesterday ruled themselves out of the race to sign the Spaniard. The Italian champions had expressed an interest in acquiring the 24-year-old's services but reports in Spain claim that Barcelona are close to securing the midfielder's signature after increasing their initial offer to £35m.

"Fabregas will not join us because he will join a different club," AC Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani told the club's official website.

Elswhere, the quaint 18th-century Catalan stone farmhouse that became the symbol of Barcelona's famed football academy closed its doors to recruits yesterday after more than three decades of nurturing talent.

"La Masia de Can Planes" is being replaced by a bigger, purpose-built facility.

Carles Folguera, the club director, said he and his colleagues were excited about the "New Masia", which cost around €9m (Dh47,811m) and will house some 80 young hopefuls when it opens next month.

"We are switching to a residence that will be an example for the world due to the immense possibilities it will generate," he said.

* With agencies