Matteo Guendouzi agrees to join Marseille from Arsenal

Harry Symeou
Guendouzi is heading for pastures new
Guendouzi is heading for pastures new / Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has agreed to sign for Marseille on a permanent deal this summer.

The 22-year-old joined the Gunners from Lorient back in the summer of 2018, however after a promising start to his career in England the player failed to impress Mikel Arteta after he took the reins from Unai Emery.

Concerns over Guendouzi's attitude and conduct led to him being frozen out and eventually the former Paris Saint-Germain player was sent out on loan to Hertha Berlin. He made 24 appearances in the German top flight last season, contributing two goals and three assists from midfield.

According to L'Equipe, Marseille are the Frenchman's first-choice destination and he has reached an agreement with them, although talks between Arsenal and the Ligue 1 side have yet to commence.

Given his difficult relationship with Arteta which reached boiling point after his confrontation with Brighton's Neal Maupay in June 2020, a return to the first-team squad at the Emirates always seemed unlikely.

Guendouzi's contract with the Premier League club is due to expire at the end of next season, so unless he's sold this summer the Gunners risk the midfielder walking away on a free transfer in approximately 12 months time.

Marseille appear to be leading the race for the player's signature with the Ligue 1 giants said to be willing to pay €12-€15m, however, a fee is yet to be officially agreed according to Le 10 Sport. Guendouzi is said to be one of Les Olympiens' top priorities this summer and the aforementioned amount fits within their transfer budget.

During the 2018/19 campaign, Guendouzi played a huge part for the Gunners under Emery, making 48 appearances in all competitions - 33 of which came in the Premier League. He showed signs of going on to establish himself as the club's midfield general but over time his passion spilled over into petulance and that was something Arteta and his staff were not willing to accept.

Taking all of that into account along with Arsenal's need to raise funds and the player's contract situation, selling the player this summer feels like the best solution for all parties.