Manchester City and Real Madrid join the £5.5m race with Liverpool to sign Arsenal defender Gael Clichy

Frenchman is out of contract in 12 months and will sit down with Gunners for next set of talks at end of the season
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Manchester City and Real Madrid have joined the £5.5million race to sign Arsenal defender Gael Clichy, can reveal.

The two big spending clubs have placed Clichy on their list of summer targets but face strong competition from Liverpool, who have a long-standing interest in the Frenchman. understands that Clichy, who is out of contract in 12 months, will sit down with Arsenal at the end of the season for further talks about a new deal.

Negotiations stalled earlier in the year after Clichy’s request for a hike on his £50,000-a-week wages was rebuffed by the club.

Manager Arsene Wenger fears the Gunners’ longest-serving player will not extend his stay at Emirates Stadium and is becoming increasingly willing to listen to clubs who will match Arsenal’s £5.5m valuation rather than allow the France international to leave for free in a year’s time.

Clichy, who turns 26 in July, is on the radar of a number of top clubs who are in the market for a proven performer at left-back.

Liverpool’s interest in the player has been made clear in recent months as the Merseysiders aim to use the forthcoming transfer window to fill what has become a problem position. Newcastle United's Jose Enrique has also been lined up for the left-back slot, and hopes to land the Spaniard have been boosted by Newcastle's interest in Paul Konchesky, as revealed by

However, director of football Damien Comolli was instrumental in bringing Clichy to London from Cannes in 2003 when he was working for Arsenal as their French scout.  

City and Real are also in the market for a new left-back as they bid to beef up their squads in the summer.

Clichy has started more league games, 33, than any other Arsenal player this season and only Laurent Koscielny and Jack Wilshere have exceeded his total of 40 starts in all competitions.

After a difficult start to the campaign, his form has improved in the second half of the season, which has been enough to keep his understudy and heir Kieran Gibbs on the sidelines.

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