Bordeaux defender set for Emirates Stadium.
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Bordeaux defender is being touted for a move to Arsenal later this month after scouts with links to the Premier League club were reportedly spotted at last weekend’s game against Marseille.
Ciani – a French international centre back – was first tipped to join the Gunners last summer after impressing with Les Girondins and making his international debut against Spain in March.
However, a move never came to fruition as Arsene Wenger opted to sign veteran stopper Sebastien Squillaci from Sevilla.
The French tactician is now reportedly ready to test Bordeaux’s resolve to keep their 26-year-old star though, after French sources reported a scouting team from Arsenal present in the stands at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome as the home side sealed a hard-fought 2-1 win in Ligue 1.
Ciani is a powerful defender with significant pedigree in France – having played for Auxerre and Lorient before moving to Stade Chaban-Delmas in 2009.
However, critics are already suggesting another French player unfamiliar with the rigours of the Premier League may not be the best move by Wenger as the team needs cover capable of slotting straight into the team.
Despite widespread plaudits, fans remain concerned Ciani is not capable of providing ample cover for existing defenders Squillaci, Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou and Thomas Vermaelen – two of whom only have six months’ experience in English football. (Metro)
Even before Thomas Vermaelen finally lost the battle to avoid surgery on his ankle complaint, Arsenal required a central defender.
Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny both have decent matches in them, but rarely in a partnership.
Colliding with each other while on the pitch, or a failure to keep a decent line has meant the Gunners have seldom looked safe when both are selected.
If Johan Djourou or Thomas Vermaelen is there to play alongside them, they look more solid – though the Swiss youngster appeared vulnerable against Leeds United and Ipswich Town recently.
Indeed, Arsene Wenger is said to be looking for someone with Premier League experience rather than a player from the European divisions, though Ciani has impressed for Bordeaux.
Ciani is 6’3″ and strong physically. He is rated highly by Laurent Blanc, who was his club manager before he took the reins of the French national team, and Blanc has continued to select him internationally.
If the likes of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka are unavailable at a price Arsene Wenger is willing to pay, Arsenal could certainly do worse than Michael Ciani.
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