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Want-Away France International Emerges As Shock Transfer Target For Arsenal

The Gunners join Atletico in the pursuit of Marseille’s Mandanda.

Olympique Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda wants to leave France this summer and Arsenal have joined Atletico Madrid in the pursuit of the 28-year-old, reports the Metro.

It comes as something of a shock that the Gunners want to bring another stopper to the club, considering the improved form of current No.1 Wojciech Szczesny this season.

However, whilst Arsene Wenger does not want to replace the Pole, with both Lukasz Fabianski and loanee Emiliano Viviano leaving at the end of this current term, the manager wants competition for Szczesny.

The north Londoners are prepared to pay £6m for the Marseille star, who despite interest from Atletico would prefer a move to the Premier League.

Mandanda has been at the Stade Velodrome for nearly seven years after joining from Le Havre in 2007, after progressing from their youth academy.

Yet the ‘keeper struggled to adapt initially and after a difficult first year, returned to his previous club the following season on-loan.

Now Mandanda has put all that behind him and is established at Marseille, helping them to the Champions League in recent times and also challenging Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris for a place between the sticks for the France national team.

Atleti are keen to sign the Frenchman as they prepare for the very realistic possibility of being without Chelsea loan star Thibaut Courtois next term – with the Belgian having impressed for the last three years at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

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