Date: 5th January 2013 at 1:28pm
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Arsenal have confirmed that Swiss defender Johan Djourou has joined Bundesliga side Hannover 96 on loan for the rest of the season. Djourou- currently Arsenal’s longest serving player- joins Marouane Chamakh out of the exit door, who joined West Ham on loan yesterday.

Djourou has appeared only twice this year- both times as captain- in the League Cup. Hannover confirmed that they had sought an option to buy Djourou at the end of his spell, which Arsenal have declined. But with Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen ahead of him in the pecking order, games have been limited for the Swiss.

‘Johan Djourou is a professional with international experience, who can help us quickly, we believe. It fits in our requirements, because he will be eligible to play in the UEFA Europa League ,’ said Hannover boss Joerg Schmadtke.

‘After the failure of Felipe Leon Andreasen and we have to act in defence. With his physical strength, his tactical understanding and his high level of commitment it is my personal conviction a win for us,’ said 96-head coach Mirko Slomka.

Thomas Eisfeld and Ignasi Miquel are expected to complete loan moves to Championship sides in the next wee, and Andrey Arshavin and Sebastien Squillaci are also expected to leave the club this winter. The strong consensus is that Arsenal are clearing the decks to prepare a bid for Barcelona striker David Villa, who is thought to be interested in joining Arsenal.