Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh has all but confirmed he is to join Arsenal at the end of the season by admitting he is now ‘counting the days’ until he makes the switch from Aquitaine to north London.
The Moroccan international has been a long-term target for the Gunners, and almost joined in the summer of 2009, but chose instead to see out the final year of his contract at Les Girondins, leaving him quite literally free to join Arsenal the following year.
Speaking to L’Equipe magazine, Chamakh has spoken of his eagerness to complete his long-awaited Emirates move;
“I count the days, 11 short days. As time passes, it feels weird. I feel many emotions.
I am delighted to join the English football atmosphere, it is something amazing. I love Arsenal’s game. I know I will have to adapt but I know the short passing game.
In February, I made my decision. A departure clause (in a potential new Bordeaux contract) was not logical after refusing Arsenal last summer.”
The 26-year-old forward has enjoyed another impressive season with Bordeaux – tallying 15 goals along the way – but admits that he is desperate for a new challenge;
“For my last matches with Bordeaux I can feel a lot of emotion, but I am leaving for a new challenge, at Bordeaux I was the club’s child. In London, I won’t be a kid anymore. I have grown, I have things to prove and I am motivated to achieve it.
He also went on to confirm that he rejected several other (possibly more lucrative) offers from a clutch of rival clubs in order to join Arsenal;
“There were approaches from Liverpool, Tottenham and offers of madness from Russia which were much greater than those from England, but I was focused on playing in the Premier League.”
Chamakh is believed to be joining Arsenal on a £50,000-a-week deal that will see him contracted to the club until 2013.