"Nonsense" - FC Dallas respond to links with ex-Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby

Technical director Fernando Clavijo has rubbished suggestions that the MLS club are in talks with the Frenchman following his Gunners departure.

Reports of Abou Diaby being in talks with FC Dallas are entirely “nonsense”, technical director Fernando Clavijo has told the Dallas Morning News.

Diaby, 29, was released by Arsenal earlier this week after a nine-year spell at the Emirates Stadium saw him make 180 total appearances and score 19 goals.

A dominant midfielder when fit, the Frenchman has battled constant injuries since breaking his ankle after a tackle from Sunderland’s Dan Smith in 2006 and featured just once in the Capital One Cup last season before being let go.

Speaking on the former Auxerre man’s plight in November during an interview with beIN Sports, manager Arsene Wenger said: “Diaby hasn’t a mental problem but a problem of injury. He is a player for whom I have great respect. Whenever he returns, he is injured and he goes from zero. He was destroyed by a bad tackle.”

Now on the lookout for a new club where he can bid to resurrect his once-flourishing career, France Football had claimed that the veteran free agent was in “advanced talks” with Dallas after travelling out to the States to discuss a move to MLS.

According to the report, he is already fully acquainted with the club, having rehabbed at the nearby Michael Johnson Performance Center in the past, but it now looks like suggestions of an imminent deal were well wide of the mark.

Asked about the team’s reported interest in Diaby, Clavijo gave the Dallas Morning News a simple one-word answer: “Nonsense.”

That response is far from surprising given the potential risk and finances involved in deal for Diaby but, while stateside switch now seems more than unlikely, a return to Arsenal is still not out of the question.

A pay-as-you-play contract has been mooted for several months, with The Times recently reporting that the 16-times capped international has been granted use of the London club’s training facilities in the meantime.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch