Arsenal defender prepared to take pay cut to quit the Gunners

Arsenal defender Johan Djourou is expected to move further towards a summer exit over the next week or so.

The most surprising part of Johan Djourou's career over the past two years, is the fact he was handed a new contract at Arsenal just last February.

The decision caused plenty of criticism from Arsenal fans who had been disappointed at his performances, and when the 2012/13 season reached the mid-point the offer certainly looked to have been made in error.

Djourou had not started a single Premier League game for the club, making only the odd appearance in the League Cup, which proved none too memorable.

When the January transfer window arrived he was first out of the door, clinching a loan switch to Hannover in Germany within the first week of it opening.

He has enjoyed mixed success so far at one of the Bundesliga's most unpredictable teams, but put simply he is just happy to be back playing again, starting week in and week out.

So much so that negotiations are planned to start next week regarding making the move permanent in the summer.

26-year-old Djourou's contract at the Emirates runs until 2015, but he is apparently so keen to quit the Gunners and remain with Hanover that he is prepared to take a pay cut.

His agent Marco Lichsteiner told German newspaper Bild today: "Johan and his family are settling very well in Hannover. The project is suitable for him, and in the coming days we will start talking a stay with Mr. Schmadtke (technical director).

"We know that his return to Arsenal is already programmed, but we wanted to make clear our intentions. Reduction of salary? Would not be a problem."

When the loan agreement was made, there was no permanent deal option built into it, and it appears player and club are prepared to act early to ensure a deal is done ahead of the summer transfer window.

Djourou has had his time at Arsenal, and is not part of the plans for the future under Arsene Wenger, so it appears to be a case of thank you, goodbye and good luck.

Arsenal will also get some money into the bargain as way of a transfer fee, plus saving on his wage bill, which Bild estimates would net Djourou three million Euros by 2015, so for Arsenal this deal is win-win, with the funds likely to be put towards new defensive recruits.

Where did it all go wrong for Djourou at Arsenal?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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