Manchester City have completed the signing of left-back Gael Clichy from Arsenal. Clichy underwent a medical in the North West of England on Monday and has now sealed his exit from Arsenal, eight years after joining the Gunners.
A fee in the region of £7 million has been reported in the media, as he entered his final year of his contract at the Emirates.
The 25-year-old France international becomes City manager Roberto Mancini’s first signing of the summer as the Italian plots for life in the Champions League next season. Clichy, who was Arsenal’s only remaining player from their Invicibles side, is rumoured to be joined at Eastlands by Samir Nasri, according to speculation, with his compatriot’s future also uncertain.
“I understand that the people who live in Manchester are the true fans. They are from City,” Clichy told City’s offical website.
“That is a good point. I won’t be bothered by United fans.”
“There is no limit at Manchester City,” he said of his new club’s ability to lift silverware. “Of course, you have to be realistic but there is no limit. Where they have come from in three years is phenomenal. And I want to win things.”
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“My season was a bit like the team’s,” reflected Clichy on last season at Arsenal. “We started well and collapsed at the end of the season after the (Carling Cup) final.
“These things happen in football. That is why you can see the importance of having a big squad. We had a few players out at the same time. It was difficult to cope with that. We lost Fabregas and (Robin) van Persie at the same time.
“Sometimes it is difficult to have a lot of players because you have to leave some out. But you need to have a big squad to go all the way. That is why I joined City.” Clichy has penned a lucrative four-year contract and is now in direct competition with Aleksandar Kolarov for the left-back berth.
Clichy, 25, joined Arsenal from Cannes in August 2003, and during his time with the Gunners made 264 appearances in all competitions.
In his debut season with Arsenal, Gael became the youngest player at the time to win a Premier League medal in 2004, aged 18 years and 10 months. Soon after, Clichy established himself as a mainstay of Arsène Wenger’s side and also a regular with the France national team.
Arsène Wenger said: “We would like to thank Gael for eight years of terrific service to Arsenal, during which time he gave absolutely everything for the Club. He has grown and developed so much since joining us in 2003, and has been a crucial part of the team over recent seasons. Gael leaves with our respect and best wishes. We wish him the very best for his future career.”
Gael Clichy concluded his stay at Arsenal with: “I have had eight fantastic years at Arsenal and made many friends. I have so many great memories from my time at Highbury and Emirates Stadium. I would like to say thank you to everyone at Arsenal for all of their support and friendship. I also want to send a big thank you to all the Arsenal supporters, who have always been so good to me.”
Well then.. goodbye Clichy, good luck getting a starting slot. Now lets get Baines or Enrique! Let the Arsenal Revolution begin