Gunners nip in for Flamini
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal have nipped in to purchase Marseille midfielder Mathieu Flamini.
The highly-rated 20-year-old rejected the offer of a first professional contract from l'OM after impressing during a season in which they managed to reach the Uefa Cup final.
Coach Jose Anigo said he was disappointed his young charge was heading for England, particularly as it seemed likely that he would not be joining one of the top clubs.
Charlton Athletic and Everton were both in the hunt for Flamini but their moves stalled, apparently when they discovered a compensation fee of around £3 million might be required after intervention from Fifa.
That amount did not deter Arsenal, however, and Arsene Wenger has sprung something of a surprise by agreeing a deal with the player to bring him to Highbury.
The Under-21 midfielder has agreed a four-year contract with the Premiership champions.
It is understood that Wenger's latest arrival has already been training with his new team-mates and Anigo is less than pleased with the outcome.
"This is a beautiful treason," raged the Marseille boss. "He used me."