Arsenal stars set for French homecoming with Ligue 1 giants keen

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It looks as though it won’t just be Premier League sides flexing their financial muscles when the transfer window opens this summer, with Ligue 1 outfit Marseille reportedly set to spend in excess of £85m on new arrivals.

And that’s bad news for Arsenal, who may lose out on two key players as a result.

With 323 league appearances between them in their home country, it’s fair to say Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny know a thing or two about French football.

And that’s why Les Phoceens boss Rudi Garcia is keen to bring the pair to the Stade Velodrome.

This is Koscielny’s seventh full season with the Gunners, while Giroud has been in North London for five years. During that time, they’ve celebrated just two Emirates FA Cups – and it’s thought a host of senior players are becoming frustrated at Arsenal’s inability to challenge for more silverware.

Gooners are already running out of fingernails to bite as the future of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil remains uncertain – and a worst case scenario could see the spine of their team leaving the Emirates in the coming months.

Marseille have struggled to keep up with their Ligue 1 rivals in recent seasons, as Paris Saint-Germain have dominated the division while Monaco are their nearest challengers.

Currently sitting fifth in the table, Marseille have vastly improved this campaign, after finishing down in 13th in 2015-16 under Michel who subsequently lost his job.

Having already parted ways with £25m in January to bring Dimitri Payet back, it’s clear officials at the French giants know they must start spending big if they’re to challenge for trophies again.

And bringing in experienced heads like Koscielny and Giroud would go a long way towards ensuring Marseille are back in the mix next campaign.

Koscielny’s current value according to transfermarkt.co.uk is £18.7m. That seems a lot for a player who’ll turn 32 in September – but such is the importance of the Frenchman’s presence in Arsenal’s back four, you’d have to say that valuation is justified.

As for Giroud, he’s valued at £21.25m. But the Gunners aren’t really in a position to demand that fee given that the striker has started just seven of Arsenal’s 29 league games this season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.