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Glory swoop on French star Gallas

Former Chelsea and Arsenal defender William Gallas is on track to make his A-League debut in mid-November after agreeing to join Perth Glory on a one-year deal.

The Glory pulled off a major coup when they beat out rival clubs from Europe, America and the Middle East to land the services of Gallas as their international marquee.

The contract will be finalised once Gallas passes a medical in the coming weeks, and the 36-year-old is in line to play his first game for Perth in their November 16 home clash with Adelaide United.

The addition of Gallas is a huge boost to the A-League, which is still riding a wave of momentum following last year's arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey.

Perth hope the arrival of the former French International will not only help boost their club membership, but also add crucial experience to their defensive stocks.

Gallas appeared in two World Cups, two European Championships and won back-to-back English Premier League titles with Chelsea.

But his career has also encountered several controversial flashpoints, most notably when he was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in 2008 after publicly revealing there were tensions amongst the squad.

Gallas will become the first Frenchman to play in the A-League, and has set his sights on leading Perth to immediate glory.

"I hope to help deliver to the fans of Perth the championship they are looking for," said Gallas, who also attracted interest from Melbourne Victory.

Glory coach Alistair Edwards said Gallas would bring vital experience to his youthful side.

"What better player in world football to bring to Western Australia than someone with 84 caps for one of the best footballing nations in the world?" Edwards said.

"I didn't want to bring in a marquee player just for the sake of bringing in a marquee player. It needed to benefit the club and fit into the philosophy.

"If you look at our squad and our philosophy, we are looking to provide opportunities for our younger players, and our younger players just happen to be attacking guys.

"So we've got someone of Gallas' experience to provide stability at the back and provide a platform for everything to springboard."

Gallas made 24 appearances for Tottenham last season, and the Glory are confident his ageing body will hold up for the A-League season.

"He still feels in himself that he's got a lot left in him - certainly well over a number of years," Glory chief executive Jason Brewer said.

"In the off-season he's been keeping himself very fit."

The ninth-placed Glory will play their first home game of the season on Sunday when they host Melbourne Heart at nib Stadium.

Defender Josh Risdon will miss up to two months with a knee injury, but Michael Thwaite and Ryo Nagai are on track to return.


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