Sky Sports understands that Abou Diaby has rejected the chance to sign a contract with West Bromwich Albion. The 29-year-old had been in talks with the Baggies and they offered him a deal on Friday. The midfielder now looks set to move back to France with Marseille.
The Daily Mail reported that the Ligue 1 side will offer him a pay-as-you-play deal, which is expected and would surely be the route most clubs would take with Diaby given his past.
Nevertheless in his time at Arsenal, the midfielder did show he was capable of some great displays and the fact Arsene Wenger stuck with him for so long through the hard times proves he rated him highly.
Diaby now needs to get some games under his belt and rediscover the form that he had at the start of his Gunners career.
Perhaps it is best for him to go back to France in comfortable surroundings and focus on reigniting his career. A move to Marseille would be great for him, and the fact that a club of their size are showing an interest in Diaby after all his problems must be a confidence boost to him. It could perhaps give him a platform for a recall to the France squad as well.
West Brom have been linked with Diaby for a while but must now turn their attentions elsewhere. They may well have dodged a bullet on this one, as the biggest task of all for whichever club he ends up at, is getting him fit, and ensuring his injuries do not crop up again.
Diaby alongside Fletcher in the middle of the park for the Baggies would certainly have been a tough prospect for opposition teams to come up against.
Tony Pulis lost Youssouf Mulumbu to Norwich City earlier this summer and will still be on the lookout to replace him. Diaby is a similar type of player, but one would think Pulis has some other options up his sleeve.