Former France international midfielder Mathieu Flamini has revealed he rejected a two-year contract extension from AC Milan as well as offers from other clubs to return to Arsenal, Sky Sports understands.
Flamini, who joined Milan from Arsenal in May 2008, made over 150 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners from 2004 to 2008, winning two trophies: the Community Shield (2004) and the FA Cup (2004-05).
The versatile midfielder, 29, marked his return to the club with a solid 45-minute display in the North London derby after replacing Jack Wilshere at half-time, and could prove to be a bargain signing for Arsene Wenger.
“Milan asked me to extend my contract for two years,” Flamini told France Football.
“However, at 29 years old, I didn’t want to sign for anything less than three seasons. I had other opportunities in Italy where clubs other than Milan contacted me, as well as from sides in Germany and England.
“At this stage of my career it was an important choice, so I took time to think. To maintain my fitness I decided to train with Arsenal and then over time the deal unfolded.”
Flamini could get a lot of matches for the Gunners this season, especially if Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere cannot remain fit. Thus, the 29-year-old Frenchman will surely be an important player for Arsenal in 2013/14.
And yes, that means Diaby and Wilshere will not be able to stay fit this season, which is quite frankly not a very bold statement.
Petric to West Ham
West Ham United F.C. have completed the signing of Croatia international striker Mladen Petric on a one-year deal, according to the club’s official website, www.whufc.com.
Petric, 32, spent last season at Craven Cottage, where he bagged five goals and one assist in 23 Premier League appearances, including nine starts, for Fulham.
The Croatia international, who will be reunited with former Hamburg team-mate Guy Demel at Upton Park, is delighted to be back in the English Premier League.
“I’m very happy, excited and looking forward to training with the team and to the first game,” Petric said. “I know [the Premier League] and I’m happy to be back in the Premier League, because it’s a fantastic league and I’m really looking forward to being part of this team and this Club.
“There are a lot of good players here and I’m happy to be part of such a good team and I hope we can all celebrate my first goal for West Ham as soon as possible.
“I didn’t speak to Sam [Allardyce] until today but I’ve heard a lot about him and I spoke to Guy Demel, who I know from my time at Hamburg and I’m sure I’ll have a good time here.”
Petric could start against Southampton at the weekend, with Andy Carroll due to miss more time after suffering a right-foot injury in training on Wednesday.