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By ESPN Staff
Jan 13, 2006

Monaco striker Adebayor set to join Arsenal

MONACO/LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Emmanuel Adebayor will never play for Monaco again, the club's president said, and the Togo striker is likely to sign for Arsenal later on Friday.

'One thing is for sure, he (Adebayor) will never play for us again,' Michel Pastor told Reuters after media reports that several clubs were interested in the player.

Adebayor was excluded from the Monaco team on Wednesday for repeatedly missing training and Pastor said there would also be financial sanctions.

'It would be good news for us and for him,' Pastor said when asked about a possible deal. 'The sooner he leaves, the better.'

Arsenal said on their Web site that manager Arsene Wenger hoped to sign Adebayor before he flew off to the African Nations Cup in Egypt, starting on January 20.

'We are looking at a striker called Adebayor,' Wenger told a news conference on Friday. 'I think it could happen later today.

'He has qualities that we don't have in the side. He is tall, good in the air and makes good runs.'

Adebayor would have faced a struggle to win back his place in the Monaco starting line-up even without the sanctions, now that Italian strikers Marco Di Vaio and Christian Vieri have joined the club.

The lanky 22-year-old, who is largely responsible for Togo's surprise qualification for the World Cup, had a difficult relationship with Monaco coach Francesco Guidolin.

Earlier, Arsenal completed the signing of French midfielder Abou Diaby from AJ Auxerre for an undisclosed fee.

The 19-year-old has signed a long-term contract, Arsenal said, without giving further details.