According to several reports in the German press, Johan Djourou has spurned the advances of Hannover 96 in favour of a year-long loan deal with HSV Hamburg.
Having impressed during a loan spell in the second half of last season, Hannover were very eager to retain the services of the Swiss international but appear to have stepped aside having seen their offer gazumped by their Bundesliga rivals.
Hannover’s Sporting Director, Dirk Dufner (who sounds like Diggler’s less potent sibling), had initially been confident of a deal but told Bild that despite an agreement with Arsenal the player’s head has been turned.
“He [Djourou] is leaning towards Hamburg. This is both annoying and bad for us.
“We can’t and won’t do economically irrational things. We pushed our limits [to sign him]. Hamburg are able to do things that we can’t.”
Local paper Hamburger Morgen Post claims that Hamburg, as was agreed with Hannover, will have the right to sign the 26-year-old next summer if the Swiss impresses over the course of the season.
Djourou’s near permanent departure coupled with Sebastien Squillaci’s release leaves Arsene Wenger with only Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as tried and tested centre-back options.
While Ignasi Miquel has the potential to step-up, the chatter about Swansea’s Ashley Williams suggests Wenger is in the market for a new defensive signing even if he can’t persuade the Welsh side to sell.
Cheers to @RYO_Cleverfish for the heads up