According to reports Arsenal are set to sign Marseille defender Stephane Sparagna in the January transfer window. The 19 year old French defender could be available on a free transfer in January, as his contract situation which still unresolved is what Arsenal is looking to exploit. The player’s contract runs out in December, and it is thought that if no agreement is reached between the current Ligue 1 leaders and Stephane Sparagna he could be off in January.
Another report claims that Arsene Wenger is leaning towards offering the defender a deal that would see him join the club in January.
Although, he came through the youth Academy in Marseille, is playing career has been blighted by injuries to date, a situation that is at the heart of why the Marseille hierarchy are reluctant to offer him a contract extension because of fears over his fitness.
It is no wonder that he has been linked to Arsenal as a possible signing because he inevitably falls into the category of an Arsene Wenger signing. A player that is cheap, and injury prone. Just like the players with such a tag who have arrived Arsenal in the past ala Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo.
With his injury history, and the club’s need of a player who can hit the ground running when it signed, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal can exploit his contract situation at Marseille which is being held up by his fitness issues.
He has drawn comparisons with Mathieu Flamini who left the South of France club in the summer of 2004 on a free transfer to Arsenal. As a result, many have seen the same scenario repeating it self with the 19 year old defender, but this time, Marseille seem to be willing to let him go without a fight because of his injury issues.
The 6ft 1in centre half has just a single first team appearance to his name as a Marseille player, and it came in the club’s opening match of the ligue 1 season against Bastia in early August. Since then he has not featured for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
A lot of Arsenal faithful would be concerned that another player that have an injury history is being looked at by the club. With the current spate of injury the club have had to contend with this season, the link of Stephane Sparagna is one that should set some pulse racing.
With his contract set to expire in two months, it remains to be seen what further development comes off this particular link.