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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Lyon striker Fred close to signing, insist Flu

Brazilian side Fluminense insist they are close to completing the signing of Lyon forward Fred on a five-year deal.

Fluminense director of football Alexandre Faria, who has been in France this week, announced that the club and player have agreed terms and are now awaiting the green light from the French champions to complete the deal.

"We've agreed a five-year contract with Fred. If he wants to quit before the end of that period, he can do it but the club will have to pay the release clause," Faria told reporters.

"Fred wants to wear the Fluminense shirt. He bought a ticket to come to Rio de Janeiro with me, but then he preferred to wait a little bit longer.

"He was approached by clubs from big leagues in Europe such as Germany, Italy, England and Spain, but he preferred to join us."

Faria added that Fred was attracted to a return to his homeland in order to work his way into the Brazil squad for the 2010 World Cup, after first-team chances had grown few and far between in France.

"Fred's goal is playing in the 2010 World Cup and he believes he will get closer to achieving that if he is outstanding here in Brazil," Faria added.

"He has not signed the resignation with Lyon only because he has not signed the contract with Fluminense yet. It is just a matter of security for him."

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