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Gael Clichy Joins Manchester City to Become the First to Leave Arsenal This Year

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 01:  Gael Clichy of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on May 1, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Stefan VasilevAnalyst IJuly 4, 2011

Arsenal has confirmed the sale of Gael Clichy to Manchester City for an undisclosed fee, which is believed to be in the region of £7 million.

The 25-year-old fullback passed his medical on Monday, and it is suggested he has put pen to paper on a contract binding him to Manchester City until 2016.

Gael had one year left on his contract with Arsenal but refused to extend it, leaving the Gunners no choice but to cash in on him.

“We would like to thank Gael for eight years of terrific service to Arsenal, during which time he gave absolutely everything for the Club,” manager Arsene Wenger commented.

“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.”

The Frenchman was one of the longest-serving players in the current Arsenal squad. His red and white career spun over eight years in which he managed to amass 264 appearances.

In 2004, he became the youngest player to win the Premier League title, and after the 2007/08 season, during which he played 49 games, he was included in the PFA Team of the Year.

“I have had eight fantastic years at Arsenal and made many friends.” Clichy commented.

"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.”

Gael Clichy is the first player to leave the Emirates amidst speculation of mass exodus in the Gunners’ ranks this season.

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