Bordeaux says striker Marouane Chamakh won’t leave the French league club until the end of the season.
The Morocco forward, whose contract expires in June 2010, was Bordeaux’s best striker last season and has been coveted by several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.
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Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc said in Friday’s edition of L’Equipe that Chamakh “will play for Bordeaux from January 1 to June 30.”
The 25-year-old Chamakh scored 13 goals in the French league last season and looked set for a move to Arsenal before negotiations failed.
Chamakh said during the summer that his priority was Arsenal but was forced to stay in the French league after Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud turned down an offer of about euro7.5 million ($10.8 million).
Bordeaux’s fears to lose him during the January transfer window have been increased after Robin Van Persie was ruled out until at least march with an ankle injury, prompting Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to say he will spend money to find a cover for the Netherlands striker.
Triaud acknowledged Friday that the French champions mishandled Chamakh’s case in failing to convice him to renew his contract.
“We should have reacted earlier,” Triaud said. “It took us weeks and even months to identify his adviser. We didn’t know who he was. But it’s true, we should have acted and discussed the matter with him a season earlier.”
Triaud added that he was now ready to reevaluate the striker’s wages and to offer him a new contract on a long-term basis but admitted that the cards were in Chamakh’s hands.
“We are in situation where we can’t impose him anything,” Triaud said. “He said he doesn’t want to harm his club’s interests and he has a chance to ensure his future. But it won’t change nothing in the offers he will receive.”