By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
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Mathieu Debuchy has admitted he has held talks with Aston Villa but claims he has not yet agreed to move to the Premier League strugglers.
Football Insider revealed at the end of last month that Villa had opened preliminary talks with the Gunners about signing Debuchy on loan until the end of the season.
The France international has insisted he cannot stay at Arsenal for the rest of the season and will move on loan this month.
An Arsenal recruitment source has told Football Insider that Arsenal have now accepted Villa’s offer of a loan fee of £1.2million.
Arsene Wenger has given the green light for Debuchy to leave but wants the Frenchman to stay at Emirates Stadium until the end of the month.
Debuchy told French newspaper L’Equipe on Sunday: “It’s true that there are clubs looking to sign me and right now I’m assessing my options. Whatever happens, I want to leave, even on loan. I can’t stay at Arsenal.
“Aston Villa are in great difficulty and that’s why I’m taking time before making a decision. They’re a big English club and I’m not ruling out the possibility. I have also talked to Remi Garde over the phone.”
France international Debuchy needs regular first-team action to guarantee himself a place in Didier Deschamps’ Euro 2016 squad but has been a fringe figure at Arsenal over the last 12 months following the emergence of Hector Bellerin at right-back.
Debuchy, who signed for Arsenal from Newcastle for an initial £8million in the summer of 2014, has been unable to win back his place after he missed large chunks of last season with shoulder and ankle injuries.
Asked if he regrets not leaving the Emirates last summer, he told L’Equipe: “Yes, I clearly lost six months. I would have preferred to leave last summer but the coach told me I would have my chance – it was not the case.
“I do not know who is responsible. Last year I got injured and I’ve been away a long time and Bellerin played some good matches.”
Debuchy has started only 20 matches in all competitions for the Gunners and has watched from the sidelines as Bellerin has showed immense promise since being fast-tracked into the first team 13 months ago.
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