Yesterday police in France confirmed that Marseille’s president, Vincent Labrune, and his two predecessors, Jean Claude Dassier and Pape Diouf, had been arrested in connection with a two-year probe into a commission paid as a result of striker Andre-Pierre Gignac’s arrival from Toulouse in 2010.
What has this got to do with Arsenal? Well according to a report in French publication Le 10 Sport (brought to our attention by the eponymous Sport Witness), Samir Nasri’s £12 million move to Arsenal in 2008 could also be investigated as police widen the search for evidence of alleged illicit payments.
It’s important to stress that there’s no suggestion Arsenal have done anything wrong (aside from signing a chinless megacunt), but you wouldn’t be surprised if Arsene Wenger gets asked about the situation in his pre-Manchester United press conference.
Wenger has a famously prickly relationship with Marseille that dates back to the match-fixing scandal of the early 1990s when his Monaco side were seemingly diddled out of a couple of league titles by the Stade Velodrome outfit. ‘The worst period in French football history,’ Wenger he has since said of Bernard Tapie’s corruption.
Arsenal aren’t the only Premier League club that could be caught up in the latest scandal to rock French football. The details of Didier Drogba’s move to Chelsea in 2004 could also be scrutinised by authorities.
For now it’s a case of watch this space…