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Former Arsenal midfielder 'seals permanent move to Italian giants'

Former Arsenal midfielder 'seals permanent move to Italian giants'
© Reuters
Former Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi reportedly seals a permanent move to Italian giants Lazio from Marseille following a successful loan spell.

Italian powerhouses Lazio have reportedly activated their option to sign a former Arsenal midfielder on a permanent deal.

Matteo Guendouzi was loaned out to the Italian giants from Marseille last summer and has excelled in the Biancocelesti midfield, registering three goals and four assists in 40 games in all tournaments.

The Frenchman's exploits helped Lazio reach the last 16 of the Champions League, although they have faltered domestically and parted ways with former head coach Maurizio Sarri midway through the season.

Nevertheless, Guendouzi has continued to play a vital role in the Lazio engine room under new head coach Igor Tudor, although he has missed his side's last two matches with a calf injury.

Upon his arrival from Marseille last summer, Marseille and Lazio reportedly shook hands on an option to buy clause, which would become an obligation if particular clauses were met.

Now, journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that the permanent clause has now been triggered, and Guendouzi will leave Marseille for good when the campaign is over.

Lazio to pay minimum £11.2m for Guendouzi

The Italian giants will reportedly fork out a guaranteed €13m (£11.2m) to sign Guendouzi, and the fee could rise to €18m (£15.5m) with performance-related add-ons.

The 25-year-old's switch to Stadio Olimpico will bring a swift end to his time with Marseille, whom he joined on loan from Arsenal in 2021 before his move was made permanent one year later.

Guendouzi recorded 10 goals and 19 assists in 103 appearances for the French giants, helping Les Olympiens achieve a second-placed Ligue 1 finish in 2021-22 alongside fellow Gunners loanee William Saliba.

The midfielder learned his trade at Lorient before being signed by then-Arsenal head coach Unai Emery in 2018, but his promising Arsenal career was in tatters just two years into his Emirates stay.

Guendouzi's last game for Arsenal came against Brighton & Hove Albion in June 2020, where he grabbed then-Seagulls striker Neal Maupay by the neck and was handed an internal suspension by Mikel Arteta's side.

The Maupay incident was supposedly just one of a handful of instances of the Frenchman's attitude concerning Arsenal, who also shipped him out to Hertha Berlin on loan for the 2020-21 campaign.

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