Ligue 1 giants Marseille announced on Tuesday that they have “agreed a deal in principle” to bring injury-prone former Arsenal and current French international midfielder Abou Diaby to the Velodrome.


The club gave no details of the deal, that will bring the 29-year-old, who has been capped 16 times for France to Marseille, after a bitter-sweet spell at the Emirates where he had been since 2006 but after successive injuries of torn cruciate ligaments, another knee problem and then hamstring restricted his appearances over the past couple of seasons he was released in June.

His last match for the Gunners dates back to a League Cup tie last September — indeed he was injured for the equivalent of almost four years of his time in London.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted he has “enormous respect” for Diaby “but each time he came back, we had to start again from zero because of another injury.”

“He is not a player who is fragile but just a victim of a violent tackle which went unpunished.”

Diaby — who at the weekend turned down an offer from Arsenal’s Premier League rivals West Brom — will be Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa’s second risky signing in recent days.

Former Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra joined Marseille after a year-long spell out of the game.

The 30-year-old, who won 28 caps in his career, has been without a club since leaving Lokomotiv Moscow last season.