In a move that further makes room in Arsenal's wage budget for fresh arrivals, Arsenal and Hamburger SV have agreed on a deal that sees Swiss international defender Johan Djourou move to the German Bundesliga side on loan, with an option to buy for next year:
On Monday afternoon, Johan Djourou unveiled the hamburger press. HSV.de also was there and met the friendly giant who goes on loan from Arsenal for Hamburger SV. In addition, the HSV secured a purchase option, which allows the club to take the Ivorian with Swiss roots firmly under contract next summer. On Saturday evening (30.06.13), the Swiss national team had landed in Hamburg to complete the medical check at UKE Athleticum on Monday morning. Afterwards we went to the signing of the contract in the Imtech Arena Sports Director Oliver Kreuzer.
-- via the official HSV site (help from Google Translate)
The club's twitter account noted that it was official, and that Djourou would also wear no. 5 on his jersey:
...und ein Trikot bekommt er auch. Mit der Nr. 5 - Joooooohan? jw pic.twitter.com/xKy6ovTjwt— Hamburger SV (@HSV) July 1, 2013
It sounds like Johan won't be coming back to Arsenal, so hopefully things go well for him in Germany. Best of luck, Johan. For Arsenal, the departure of their fourth-choice center half does potentially cause some depth issues, particularly if the injury bug decides to return, but the kind of wages Djourou earned (thought to be around £50,000 per week) weren't necessarily appropriate for a backup option. This leaves Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, and Thomas Vermaelen as the three senior center half options.