Olympique Marseille have confirmed the loan signing of Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, securing the Frenchman’s future away from the Gunners for at least another year.
It was previously rumoured that the deal would include an obligation for Marseille to make it a permanent transfer next summer, but the Ligue 1 side have confirmed it is only an option.
Guendouzi spent most of last season on loan in Germany with Hertha BSC, having fallen out of favour with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
Now 22, the Frenchman originally joined Arsenal from Lorient when he was still a teenager and featured 48 times in all competitions during his debut season under Unai Emery. But his opportunities decreased the following season and it became clear he had no future under Arteta.
A return to France to join an ambitious Marseille side that has already signed American teenager Konrad de la Fuente from Barcelona, Argentina defender Leonardo Belardi from Borussia Dortmund and Turkish winger Cengiz Under from Roma, could be the move that reignites his career.
Guendouzi will wear Marseille's number six shirt, previously worn by, among others, French legend and 1993 Champions League winner Marcel Desailly, as well as Joey Barton.
Marseille finished fifth in Ligue 1 last season, which was enough to qualify for the Europa League group stage. They finished second in the final standings in 2020, as well as in 2013 and 2011, but haven’t been crowned French champions since 2010.
They and others will take hope from Lille showing last season that it is possible to break Paris Saint-Germain’s domestic dominance, winning their first title since 2011 against the odds.