Hamburg confirm signing of Arsenal defender Johan Djourou on season-long loan

The centre-back will return to Germany where he spent the second half of last season upon completion of a medical

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The Independent Football

Arsenal defender Johan Djourou has agreed a loan move to Hamburg according to the club website.

The German club made the announcement on both their official club website and Twitter account earlier today, although Arsenal are yet to confirm the deal with their squad currently on a pre-season tour in Asia.

The Swiss defender is said to have passed a medical this morning ahead of a season-long loan deal, with the centre-back not figuring in Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s plans for the season ahead as he reshapes his squad.

It is believed that there is an option to purchase Djourou on a permanent deal should the loan move work out, and Djourou will be used to the Bundesliga already having spent the second half of last season with Hannover.

They had been reported to be interested in taking Djourou for a second spell, but were beaten to it by their league rivals as they tweeted a picture of Djourou arriving in Hamburg this morning.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Djourou said: "I'm very happy now that everything is sorted. HSV are a big club, with a lot of quality and great fans.

"I am convinced that this is the right step for my career."

Hamburg's director of sport Oliver Kreuzer added: "Johan was a priority as the defence is a very important part of our team. He has leadership qualities but is also fast, good in the air and very good on the ball."

The 26-year-old joined the north London side in 2004, and made 144 appearances for the club, scoring a single goal. Having forced his way into the first-team squad a few years ago, Djourou suffered a string of injuries that saw him fail to recover his starting position.

Having already moved Sebastien Squillaci on from the club after releasing him on a free transfer, Wenger’s defensive options seem relatively slim with Djourou heading abroad. The club have been linked with a move for Swansea centre-back Ashley Williams, who would provide competition for current incumbents Per Mertesacker, Lorient Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, as well as youngster Ignasi Miquel who saw an increase in his first-team squad inclusion last season.