Clichy completes Eastlands move
MANCHESTER, England (AP)
Manchester City signed left back Gael Clichy from Arsenal on a four-year contract Monday, bolstering a squad that finished third in last season's Premier League and won the FA Cup.
Arsenal was forced to sell the 25-year-old Frenchman because he had only one year left on his contract and could have moved on a free transfer at the end of next season.
Clichy spent eight years at Arsenal after joining from Cannes in August 2003. His ability on the left of defense was one of the reasons the Gunners were able to allow England international Ashley Cole to make a high-profile switch to Chelsea three years later.
Clichy was backup to Cole when Arsenal won the 2003-04 Premier League title with an unbeaten record, making him at the time the youngest player to earn a Premier League winner's medal - aged 18. He was the last member of that squad still with the north London club.
The transfer reunites Clichy with former Arsenal teammates Patrick Vieira and Kolo Toure.
''I can't wait to get started and I think anything is possible with this team,'' Clichy said. ''When I first came to England, it was Kolo Toure and Patrick Vieira who took me under their wing and really looked after me.
''Kolo would pick me up and drop me at home and his wife used to cook meals for me. Patrick was always there to offer me advice, so it's wonderful to be back and at the same club they are at.''
City did not say how much it paid for Clichy. British media widely reported the fee to be about £7million.
''I'm really happy to be joining such a great club,'' Clichy said. ''I hope I can add to the quality we already have here because we have a fantastic squad who I believe will continue to get better.''