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Arsenal transfer: Gunners' £17.1m price-tag for 22-year-old reportedly too much for club leading race; they'd now prefer loan

Arsenal look to be edging closer to reaching a deal for Matteo Guendouzi, with La Provence reporting that Marseille remain on pole position to sign the midfielder – but the two sides are still yet to reach an agreement over the terms of a potential transfer.

It has been little surprise to see Guendouzi heavily linked with a move away.

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He spent last year out on loan after falling out with Mikel Arteta.

Marseille have been monitoring the 22-year-old throughout the summer. Meanwhile, both Borussia Dortmund and Benfica have also been linked.

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But it does indeed appear that he is on his way to France this summer.

According to La Provence, Marseille remain the front-runners for his signature. In fact, it is claimed that he has initially agreed a four-year deal with the Ligue 1 side.

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However, it seems that there is some discussions to be had regarding when that deal will come into effect.

La Provence reports that Arsenal want £17.1 million (€20 million) for Guendouzi. But that is said to be too much for his admirers.

Therefore, Marseille would like to take the youngster on loan with some sort of option to buy.

Loan may be better than no transfer for Arsenal

Admittedly, Arsenal will surely be desperate to offload Guendouzi permanently. The last 12 months have surely not been easy for any party.

So a clean break would work well for the Gunners, as well as the midfielder.

Another loan may therefore, not be ideal for Arsenal. But it is surely better than not finding Guendouzi a move this summer.

It does appear that his bridges are well and truly burned at the Emirates. Of course, players have come back from the very periphery in the past. So nothing can be ruled out.

But if Arsenal have to ultimately agree an initial loan to move Guendouzi on, perhaps that may be the best option.

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