Port fitness guru joins EPL giants Arsenal

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The need for change has been a big feature of Ivan Gazadis offering Wenger a new deal at Arsenal.

ARSENAL will appoint former Liverpool fitness expert Darren Burgess.

Burgess added: "I look forward to continue having a relationship with Port Adelaide from afar and thank the entire club for their support and many great memories over two stints".

Burgess is regarded as one of the best fitness and conditioning coaches in world sport and is expected to be put in charge of a number of areas including medical, fitness, psychology and performance analysis at Arsenal.

He said: "Reaching this decision has been one of the toughest decisions in my professional career". Port Adelaide is like family and once you've worked in this environment with so many outstanding people it is very hard to leave.

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"But the opportunity to return to the English Premier League and work at Arsenal is an opportunity I couldn't refuse".

Port Adelaide confirmed the news on Monday, stating that Burgess, whose appointment has been approved by Arsene Wenger, will see out the remainder of the 2017 AFL season with them.

Burgess spent a three-year spell at Liverpool where he worked under the title of head of fitness and performance under Kenny Dalglish, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers.

Burgess is close to agreeing a deal at the Emirates with the hiring of the Australian having already been rubber-stamped by Arsene Wenger after an approach by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis. He also worked with the Australian national football team during the run up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Burgess, 43, is expected to join the Gunners next month, although he will return to Adelaide on an intermittent basis until November as part of an agreed transitional period while the Aussie Rules club find a successor.

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