The on-off transfer saga involving Olivier Dacourt’s move to Juventus is set to take another twist with news of Arsenal’s interest in the France midfielder.
Juventus and Leed have been in negotiations about a œ15 million deal since the turn of the year, but as yet nothing has been finalised and Dacourt claims that Arsenal are waiting in the wings.
“Other than Juventus, Arsenal are also interested, but I need to know,” Dacourt told L’Equipe.
Since Emmanuel Petit left, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has scoured Europe for a replacement to play alongside Patrick Vieira in the centre of midfield. Last season, Ray Parlour, Edu and Robert Pires were all used there but none were able to make the position their own.
Over the summer, Wenger was strongly linked with a move for PSV’s Marcus van Bommel. the deal fell through when van Brommel’s current club, PSV, refused a cash-plus-player offer involvingNwankwo Kanu.
Although Dacourt has not asked for a transfer, the Frencham is believed to be a playerLeeds are willing to lose in an attemtp to reduce the club’s deficit.
The contingent of French players alreadyemployed at Highbury could be play an important part in any decision Dacourt makes. Playing alongside his close friend Vieira would also do his international chances no harm.
Any deal would have to be done swiftly though. Dacourt said: “I don’t want to join a club just before the start of the league season. Therefore, I will leave by Saturday, or I will stay at Leeds.”
“I’m giving myself another 48 hours from which to negotiate and complete my transfer,” Dacourt added.
“After that, in my head, I won’t want to go. Discussions are continuing, and I am affected by time because we’re leaving soon with Leeds for a 15-day tour of Australia and Hong Kong.”