by Lewis Ambrose
Olympique Marseille confirmed on Tuesday that Abou Diaby has signed a two year contract with the Ligue 1 outfit.
This news came despite reports that Diaby was close to agreeing a move to West Bromwich Albion, where he even underwent medical exams last week after receiving an offer from the Premier League club. French newspaper L’Equipe [hard copy] have revealed that the Baggies offered the midfielder a fixed wage plus €30,000 per appearance before he opted to move back to France.
Now the newspaper have also revealed that Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Liverpool matched that offer despite Diary’s injury issues but the midfielder, who made 180 Arsenal appearances, opted for a switch to Marseille.
In the same article Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger spoke about the new Marseille midfielder, who joined Arsenal over nine years ago.
“Diaby is the (biggest) regret of my career,” the Arsenal manager confessed. “At Arsenal a boy that was severely injured in an unacceptable way and he paid the price for the whole of his career.
“He was a player with an exceptional destiny but could only show it in little periods. I think it is a good thing for him to have a new start, he can have three or four years at the highest level.”
That is the hope for Diaby now, who is still just 29 years old. After rejecting Liverpool and West Brom those years won’t come in England, but hopefully he has more fortune back in France.