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Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Arsenal deal not yet done for starlet Freeman

Gillingham manager Mark Stimson has rejected suggestions a deal has already been done with Arsenal for 15-year-old Luke Freeman, but accepts the youngster looks set to join the Gunners.

The League One side club are resigned to losing their talented prospect, who became the youngest player to feature in the FA Cup when he came on against Barnet in the first round earlier this season and was also attracting interest from Newcastle and West Ham.

Last week, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed he expected the move to be 'pushed through' but Gills boss Stimson insists nothing has been finalised and maintains the reported figures of around 500,000 were well wide of the mark.

Stimson told the Kent Messenger: 'He is still a Gillingham player.

'Luke is in the process of maybe going across to Arsenal. At the moment the chairman and someone from Arsenal are sorting the details out.

'I have read that they will pay 500,000 for him and I said to the chairman 'happy days' but it is not going to be anywhere near that type of money, unfortunately for us.

'It will be something that, if he makes the grade at Arsenal, then we will get rewarded and there will be some kind of fee for the transfer. He is a special talent.'

Wenger insists he is not interested in making any major moves in the transfer window this month.

The Gunners have, nevertheless, been linked with a move for Marseille winger Andre Ayew, the French-born Ghana international and son of ex-Marseille star Abedi Pele.

The promising 18-year-old is currently away at the African Nations Cup, and any potential deal may well not be completed until the summer, with the French club rating their player at around 5million.

Bulgarian Under-21 winger Nikolay Dimitrov had a trial spell at Arsenal last month, but as yet Wenger has not decided to further his interest.

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