By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Mathieu Debuchy has agreed a January loan move to Aston Villa, Football Insider sources understand.
The France international has told manager Arsene Wenger that he wants to accept an offer to join the Premier League’s bottom club.
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.
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.
Wenger might be interested in a late move for a new right-back if first choice Hector Bellerin was to get injured. He has Calum Chambers as back-up, as well as the versatile Mathieu Flamini, but both are more comfortable elsewhere.
The Arsenal manager has admitted fellow Frenchman Debuchy could leave Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window due to lack of first-team action.
Wenger’s relationship with former Arsenal player Remi Garde has been crucial to the deal.
Speaking at the start of January, Villa manager Garde said: “I had a conversation with Arsene a few days ago about some of the players and Mathieu Debuchy was among these players.
“It’s too early and it won’t help me or anyone to go forward in this style to make too many more comments.”
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 this season.
Football Insider revealed on 19 October that Debuchy will ask for a winter transfer if he remains second choice to Bellerin.
Debuchy signed for Arsenal from Newcastle for an initial £8million in the summer of 2014 but missed large chunks of last season with shoulder and ankle injuries.
He 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.