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The Daily Mail claim the ex-Reading boss was in the stands at the Stade de la Beaujoire to see a 1-0 win for Marseille.
The visitors’ 20-year-old attacking midfielder Maxime Lopez is probably the best young prospect that was on show, but McDermott could have been there for another reason.
Nantes are trying to secure a loan deal for Gunners youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide and the scout could have been assessing the home side to see if he would flourish in their system.
Arsenal are said to be focused on offloading fringe players from their squad with Jack Wilshere understood to be a target for Newcastle and Juventus.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is unlikely to stand in Wilshere’s way if a suitable offer arrives before the end of the summer transfer window in under three weeks time.
Sampdoria were linked with the midfielder, who spent last season on loan at Bournemouth, but now reports claim Juventus are considering a bid.
The Serie A champions are working down a list of midfield targets but are struggling to land their preferred options – Liverpool’s Emre Can and Roma’s Kevin Strootman.
Newcastle have also been linked to the 25-year-old former England international.