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Reports: Flamini on verge of signing for Arsenal, again

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Okay, so maybe he was training at Arsenal for a reason.

Paolo Bruno

A couple of weeks ago, it was revealed that former Arsenal (and AC Milan) midfielder Mathieu Flamini was training with Arsenal. He's out of contract presently, so the assumption was that he was just here to get his fitness up. It's been done before, with players like Robert Pires and even David Beckham having trained with the club in the past without signing. I believe I said it "probably [wasn't] a thing."

Well, according to the Daily Mail and the Guardian, it might actually be a thing. Both papers claim that Flamini will be signing on a free transfer before the weekend, and if true, he may be available for the game against Fulham on Saturday. That depends on whether the signing is finished swiftly - his paperwork bust be finished by Friday midday GMT.

Much as Flamini isn't the first to have come back to train, he's also not the first player Arsene Wenger has brought back as injury relief after leaving the club. Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann, and (of course) Thierry Henry have all returned in recent years, with varying levels of success. But Flamini is younger than the others, and closer to his peak condition. This would likely be less of a stopgap measure and more an acquisition of a useful player who knows the club and the league. He can provide cover at midfield and fullback, which will be particularly useful as we await the return of Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.