According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Gael Clichy looks most likely to leave Arsenal for Italy with AS Roma showing strong interest in the French international.
It is claimed that the Serie A side’s director of football, Walter Sabatini, has travelled to London to talk with the player’s representatives ahead of possible negotiations with the Gunners hierarchy.
Last week Clichy was heavily linked with a move to Premier League rivals Liverpool following suggestions that the Reds had offered £5 million for his services. Despite the fact the 25-year-old has only one year left on his contract at the Emirates it is believed that enough potential suitors are interested for Arsene Wenger to hold out for a figure in the region of £8 million.
On the books in North London since signing from Cannes in 2003, Clichy was initially back-up to Ashley Cole before taking over the left-back responsibilities on a full time basis when the England man quit for Chelsea in 2006. He has been the club’s first choice starter in the position ever since and subsequently earned himself call-ups to the French national team.
Should Clichy move ahead of the new season Arsenal currently have Kieran Gibbs and Armand Traore as cover, while it has also been suggested that Thomas Vermaelen could fulfil the role having played as a left-back during his time at Ajax.
The alternative for Wenger would be to redirect any funds received from the sale of Clichy towards a new target. Newcastle United’s Jose Enrique appears to be the standout candidate, although with Liverpool also weighing up a bid for the Spaniard the Gunners will have to move quickly to secure their man.