Roma and Marseille in battle to sign Gervinho

The Gunners are willing to offload the Ivorian attacker this summer, with the Serie A club ready to table a cash offer while the French side want a loan
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Roma and Olympique de Marseille are locked in a two-way battle to sign Arsenal forward Gervinho, Goal understands.

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Roma are preparing a £6.9 million offer to buy the Ivorian, while Marseille want to sign him on a season-long loan with an option to buy.

Arsenal are willing to let Gervinho go this summer as they clear the decks for a number of marquee signings, with Luiz Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain, Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney among those on their hit list.

The Gunners value the Ivory Coast international at the £8m mark and would prefer a sale rather than a loan.

Gervinho did not fly out with the Arsenal squad on Thursday afternoon for their pre-season tour of Asia, which the club claim was due to sickness, allowing him to hold talks with his principal suitors.

The attacking midfielder earns £50,000-a-week at the Emirates Stadium and the combination of his price tag and wage demands could prove a barrier to a quick deal.

New Roma manager Rudi Garcia coached Gervinho for two seasons at Lille before he joined Arsenal in 2011 and remains an admirer of the 26-year-old.

Marseille offer the prospect of a return to the French league for Gervinho, if Roma cannot agree a fee with Arsenal.