Premier League

Gunners ship out Santos on loan

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Mon, 11 Feb 2013 16:07:00

David Beckham has not been included in Paris St Germain's squad for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 encounter with Valencia on Tuesday.

Beckham, who joined PSG on a five-month deal on transfer deadline day, will travel to the Mestalla to watch his new team in action but is not expected to feature for the Ligue 1 title challengers before their domestic clash with Marseille on 24th February.

However, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti will have some decisions to make as he will be without injured centre-back Thiago Silva and midfielder Thiago Motta for the clash.

Silva is still ruled out with a left thigh problem he suffered last month, while Motta is not deemed to be match fit after recovering from a thigh injury of his own.

Ancelotti's future has been more of an issue heading into the game, as speculation suggests he will be replaced in the summer, but the Italian is eager to put those issues to one side ahead of a crucial continental clash.

He told L'Equipe: "Depending on where we finish, I have an extra year on my contract if, at the end of the season, PSG are in the top three of Ligue 1 and we qualify for the Champions League.

"I want to stay. But I know that at the end of the season, the club will decide if they are happy or not with my work. We will take stock at the end of the season, and if the club are happy, and me too, we will continue."

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde has no major injury worries ahead of the match, with Joao Pereira, Victor Ruiz and Diego Alves set to return to the starting line-up after being named on the bench in last weekend's 1-0 Primera Liga win over Celta Vigo.

Valencia defender Aly Cissokho, who spent three years at French side Lyon, knows from experience to expect a hard-fought match against PSG.

Cissokho told the club's official website: "I have played several times at the Parc des Princes. Paris is a big team, which has gone into another dimension.

"It will be a very good game. Paris St Germain have talented players on each part of the pitch, especially offensively with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi or Lucas Moura. They are class players.

"We will need our fans because it will not be an easy match. We must win at home to be calm before the return leg."

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Santos, 29, moved to Arsenal from Fenerbahce in August 2011, but has failed to hold down a regular place in Arsene Wenger's first team.

The form of Kieran Gibbs and the arrival of Nacho Monreal means the Brazilian left-back has made only six starts for the Londoners this season and he has now been given a chance to play regular football back in his homeland.

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