MAMMA MIA: Arsenal's Silva set to land lucrative Greek deal

Panathinaikos are set to make Arsenal s Gilberto Silva the highest paid player in Greek football, writes Jem Maidment. The Brazilian midfielder is expected to arrive in Athens later today for a medical before signing a three-year contract – despite Arsena

Panathinaikos are set to make Arsenal's Gilberto Silva the highest paid player in Greek football, writes Jem Maidment.

The Brazilian midfielder is expected to arrive in Athens later today for a medical before signing a three-year contract - despite Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger urging him to stay for one more season at The Emirates.

The 31-year-old joined Arsenal in the summer of 2002 as a World Cup winner and scored on his debut in a 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Community Shield. A late bid by Everton failed after Gilberto spoke to former Chelsea No.2 Henk ten Cate, now the manager of the Greek outfit. The Gunners will receive a small fee.

Despite being made vice-captain of Arsenal in 2006, Gilberto found himself on the fringes of the first team last season.


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It leaves Wenger with a headache after losing two defensive midfielders after Mathieu Flamini left for AC Milan on a Bosman.

Alex Hleb is also expected at Barcelona for a medical this week while Emmanuel Adebayor's future is far from certain as his agent attempts to engineer a move away from north London.

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Arsenal have also asked Aston Villa to keep them informed of Gareth Barry's status - his move to Liverpool appears to have stalled over the £18million price.

Meanwhile, the Gunners play their first pre-season friendly on Saturday with the annual trip to Barnet.

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