Arsenal are close to securing Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh to a pre-contract agreement.

The Times says Arsenal were closing in on the signature of Chamakh last night after the Bordeaux striker's proposed move to Liverpool collapsed amid some acrimony.

Liverpool believed they had moved ahead of their rivals, who also include Inter Milan and West Ham United, in the race for Chamakh by offering the Morocco player a lucrative pre-contract agreement during intensive talks with his advisers early last month.

Sources close to the deal indicated last night that Chamakh has rejected Liverpool's approach, paving the way for him to sign for Arsenal. The North London club would have no problem matching the £60,000-a-week wages on offer at Anfield and are in the process of finalising a five-year contract.