Flamini not ruling out Marseille return
Mathieu Flamini has hinted he would consider making a return to Marseille, the club where he started down the road to professional football as a six-year-old.
Flamini, 29, came back to Arsenal this summer having left the Gunners in 2008 to join AC Milan. The Marseille-born midfielder had caused outrage at his home town club when rejected a long-term senior contract in 2004, preferring to pursue his career in north London.
Though he only recently signed the three-year contract he was offered upon his return to Arsene Wenger's squad, Flamini already has designs on going full circle.
"You should never say never," said Flamini, who first joined OM in 1990. "I did my apprenticeship there. Of course it's the club of my heart. I've always stayed close to it, because I'm in contact with Jose Anigo, someone who knows me very well. But there's never been anything concrete in terms of a potential return up to now. Having said that, I've got some good years still ahead of me."
The first of those Flamini hopes will come during the current campaign. After making his second Arsenal debut in his club's derby win over Tottenham Hotspur, the France international told France Football he was optimistic of success, particularly following the summer arrival of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.
"Our ambitions are clear, as the arrival of Mesut Ozil has proved. To fight for the title and compete in the Champions League. We want to win trophies. The club has waited for them for too long," said the midfielder who helped Wenger claim the 2004-05 FA Cup, Arsenal's last piece of silverware to date.
"We have the means to compete for the title, even if we are outsiders, not favourites, like in 2007-08.That is my motivation. I want to write another beautiful story with Arsenal."
Having enjoyed himself during his first four-year spell, during which he made his senior debut for France, Flamini admitted he had jumped at the opportunity to team up again with Wenger.
"Arsenal always held a very special place inside of me. I will never forget what the club and Arsene have done for me. It is why it was important for me to come back and give again to the club," he explained.
"I will never forget the match against Tottenham which marked my return. After having spent four fantastic years here, I played for five years at AC Milan, but I had the feeling that I had never left, that I had never turned the page.
"I found the same staff, all the people around the club. Some players had also stayed. And, on the pitch, I had the feeling I was back in the time when I played here.
"Everything happened very naturally. I had the feeling of coming home."