Sevilla Stopper Squillaci Almost A Gunner

Arsenal are closing in on a deal for Sevilla center back Sebastien Squillaci, according to the Guardian. The Gunners have agreed a £5m fee with the Spanish side, and the France international has made his way to London for a medical.

It was reported last week that Arsenal had made a bid for the 30-year-old, but in confirming the bid, Sevilla sporting director Ramon Rodriguez said the offer wasn’t good enough. However, it appears that Arsenal have made up the necessary ground to persuade Sevilla to part with Squillaci, who joined the club from Lyon in a £6m deal in the summer of 2008.

Arsenal splashed out £8.5m on another French center back this summer with the purchase of Laurent Koscielny from Lorient, but there was still a need to make additional defensive reinforcements after the club said goodbye to William Gallas, Sol Campbell, Mikael Silvestre, and Philippe Senderos this summer.

And after adding an up-and-comer in Koscielny, Arsene Wenger is set to add an experienced stopper in Squillaci, who was part of the Monaco side that made a run to the Champions League final in 2004 and participated in the Champions League in both seasons he spent with Lyon and last season with Sevilla. He’s now set to take part in the tournament with his fourth different team, as due his refusal to play in the first leg of Sevilla’s Champions League playoff tie against Portuguese side Braga, Squillaci will be available to be part of Arsenal‘s Champions League squad.

Squillaci also has 20 caps for France, and along with new teammates Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby, and Bacary Sagna, was part of France’s 2010 World Cup squad. Squillaci was an unused sub in France’s matches against Uruguay and Mexico, but he started and played the full 90 in the 2-1 loss to South Africa that marked France’s early exit from the tournament.

Update: Sevilla have confirmed they have accepted a £6.5million offer from Arsenal for defender Sebastien Squillaci. The Frenchman is currently en route to England for a medical on Monday with a view to signing for the Gunners ahead of next Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

Onam Greetings & Wishes

Happy Onam to all my readers, whether you are Malayalee or not. This festival, the biggest for the state of Kerala and it’s people, marks the harvest season and the 10th day of the festival is usually the one most people note as Onam or Thiruvonam. Traditionally it is also marked as the time than an ancient, beloved king Maveli (Kerala’s version of Santa Claus, although he doesn’t bring us presents) returns to visit his people once a year.

This is a day for family to get together and have a lavish lunch of traditional Kerala vegetarian dishes in an afternoon sadhya. This is also followed by a payasam or two. The feast is served on banana leaves and is looked forward to by all the family members. Enjoy Thiruvonam with all your family members.