The annual exodus form the Arsenal playing staff is about to start with Cesc ready to seal a £40M transfer to Barcelona this weekend. This is not a major surprise, but will he be greeted on his return as Vieira, Toure and Henry were, or will it be another Anelka, Adebayor return?
Manchester City are rumoured to be on the verge of signing Clichy for £7M. To me this is not a problem, Clichy is a poor replacement for Ashley Cole and Gibbs will grow into a better left-back than Clichy could ever become.
The Nasri saga has taken a new twist with Manchester City reported to be ready to offer £20M. Nasri is in the last year of his contract and £20M to Manchester City will be a good price. Nasri has been plagued by injuries at Arsenal and his form has been erratic, perhaps this is because he has not played in his favoured central midfield position. I would like Nasri to stay and perhaps the arrival of Gervinho will persuade him to sing a new contract, with a “gentleman’s agreement” with Wenger that he can leave next summer if we do not win anything!
If Wenger sold these three plus a few other players Bendtner (£8M), Denilson (£5M), Eboue(£8M) and Arshavin(£12M), his transfer budget will be £100M, yes £100M, what damage could he do in the market with this fund?
What Arsenal must ensure is that we are not in the same situation next summer with players in their last season of their contract. The two players that have two years left on their contracts are Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott. They need to be offered bumper contracts now not half-way through the season.
Next week should see the long awaited announcements of Gervinho, Cahill, Alvarez and Oxlade-Chamberlain joining the club, for a combined sum of £49M. So it is not all gloom and doom. The buying should not stop with these players. Other targets need to include Juan Mata of Valencia, Christopher Samba , Jose Enrique and possibly Benzema.
On the transfer rumour front the story that we are looking at John O’Shea for £7M is the most worrying. This guy is just younger version of Silvestre, another disaster waiting to happen. Why would we finance Manchester United to the tune of £7M for one of their reserves?
However, what is worrying is the statement from Arsene in a French newspaper that he will very active towards the end of July. This is not the statement Arsenal fans want to hear. To buy players a couple of weeks prior to the season starting is madness; get your players in early. Pre-season matches are designed to ensure players understand each other.
Arsene this could be your last summer at Arsenal, ensure you buy wisely and quickly. You have had since March to weigh up your targets, just get on with the job of securing them now.
Late May the news hit the internet and other media outlets that Arsenal had signed Velez Sarsfield winger Ricardo Alvarez. The story soon became muddied by talks of other clubs interested in the player; the story continued that Arsenal executive Richard Laws had visited Argentina but broke off talks once the figure of £12M was mentioned.
Was this another transfer never to happen? Last week Buenos Aires radio station stated that Alvarez will join a Premier League club this week. In this week’s Ole, Velez Sarsfield has confirmed that talks are on-going with Arsenal and that Arsenal has made a formal bid for the player. The complications according to Velez Sarsfield are that one or two other clubs are interested but also there are numerous people involved.
It is rumoured that mega-bucks Malaga have been sniffing around Alvarez, but today in stories circulating in the Italian media, Palermo supremo Maurizio Zamparini has stated that Arsenal have secured Alvarez.
Zamparini interview with Naples Radio Kiss Kiss were reported in Tuttosport:
“Alvarez? We had a specific interest we had in hand as early as January. Unfortunately, our mistake we did a quick run at the moment and has already signed for the ‘Arsenal’. ”
Could this be true? One thing is for sure, no news of Arsenal transfers will emerge until 1 July when the international transfer window officially opens. Remember when we signed Nasri, even though it was widely reported, and the club even uploaded a profile of Nasri by mistake on Arsenal.com, it was not until after the transfer window opened.
Hopefully we will see activity once 1st July comes around.
It’s not time to panic, the transfer window does not officially open until 1st July, the season only finished 4 weeks ago, however, signs of a busy summer as stated by both Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis, we not seen.
Matters started well with Arsenal rumoured to have agreed a deal for Argentine winger Ricardo Alvarez. This was followed by reports of our interest in Christopher Samba and Gervinho being widely mooted in the media. This was then followed by claims that Arsenal had agreed to signing of Southampton youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Apparently we matched Blackburn Rovers’ valuation of Phil Jones, £16M, but he opted for Old Trafford. The early signs were good, Wenger was making “positive” inquiries and was prepared to spend money on players.
Then this week, when expected to see Arsenal announce the signing of Gervinho and Samba, we are confronted the same old problems.
Last week Lille allowed Gervinho to discuss terms with Arsenal, we even had reports that a £10.6M fee had been agreed, today we read that Lille want £14M. Arsenal are not prepared to pay this sum for a player with one year left on his contract, so we have impasse. Does this sound familiar? Wind back the clock to 2009 and the Chamakh saga, where once again we valued a player in the last year of his contract a few million pounds less than his club. The result, no signing and regretting it when our strikers couldn’t score.
Chris Samba was widely reported as a done deal, his club stated that he wants to play for Arsenal; he wants to play Champions League football. All the omens were there, except now it appears that Blackburn value Samba at £12M and we value him at £10M. Blackburn are also stating they have no need to sell Samba.
Ricardo Alvarez came out of left field, a player so far below the media radar, he was on the floor! From reports stating that he was available on a free transfer, to Arsenal men going out to discuss and close the move to a position that Velez Sarsfield want £12M for the player and now other clubs hovering around.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was reported to have agreed a deal and the transfer was to be announced on 1st July. Then reports started to emerge that the clubs had not agreed a fee, Southampton want around £12M (this appears to the sum for any transfer this summer), Arsenal offering £10M.
This sounds like the same summer transfer activity, plenty of links, fans hopeful that this is the summer when Wenger spends and strengthens the squad, only to realise that the manager and board will not spend the extra £2M-£3M per player to secure the signings we need.
There is plenty of time before we start bombarding the forums and radio call-ins over the lack of transfer activity. What we fans want to see is some decisiveness in the transfer market, the sort of activity that we saw in Wenger’s first summer in 1997 when he bought 7 players to transform the squad.
Things can change so quickly, within a matter of days, so it is not all doom and gloom yet!
Another Saturday comes around and the usual suspects are still being linked with Arsenal.
Ricardo Alvarez, yes the player were supposed to have signed on a free transfer, who then become subject to a tug of war between Arsenal and Manchester United, is back in the frame or perhaps not. Arsenal sent over representatives to discuss the transfer with his club Velez Sarsfield, reports (or rumours) were that Velez wanted £10M. The trail went cold, then TalkSPORT reported that Roma were to sign the Argentine winger. Now we have Argentine media reports stating the Alvarez will sign for an English club next week. All we can say is that Alvarez is a player that Wenger has identified as someone who can add to our attacking options, though once the name is out in the football world other teams will jump on the bandwagon. As usual Arsenal are remaining very quiet, though we know that Wenger is due to go to South America soon, could it be to conclude the deal for Alvarez?
An old favourite has re-emerged, Blaise Matuidi, the St Etienne midfielder stopper / playmaker is back on the scene. This is the third summer we have been linked with Matuidi, the first link was in 2009 when we were “close to signing” Matuidi for £2.5M, then in 2010 the fee had risen to £8M when we about to sign the St Etienne player, now we are being linked with a £13M offer. It has been rumoured that Blaise has indicated that Arsenal is his preferred destination, but Wenger’s priorities are defence and attacking options, at least until he knows what will happen with Fabregas. Will Wenger spend £13M on Matuidi, I doubt that will happen, this story is more about Matuidi’s agent trying to drum up interest in his player.
Arsenal were also linked to Samuel Eto’o, but at £30M and 30 years old, the only club who would spend that sort of money for a has been are Chelsea. Eto’o is a great striker, but is he really the player we need? Perhaps if the fee was £8M he would be worth considering, but £30M plus £6M a year wages, not even Wenger will be mad to contemplate a deal for Eto’o.
A new player on the block is Jose Enrique the Newcastle United left-back. Enrique is coming into the final year of his contract, and has indicated that he wants to leave. He is 25 years old, 6ft 3” and battle hardened in English football. The Times has indicated that Arsenal have made contact with representatives of Enrique. Enrique would be a perfect replacement for Clichy. He will share the left=back slot with Gibbs and would cost around £8M.
Finally a story breaking from Italy is that Arsenal and Manchester United are in talks, whatever that might mean, with the agent of Mirko Vucinic the Roma striker, the asking price £26M. Vucinic is 27 years old and a Montenegro international. The sources for this story are the player’s agent and as is usual when an agent spreads stories and uses a couple of big teams it is to flush out other potential buyers. I doubt Wenger or Ferguson will even contemplate Vucinic unless the fee was around £12M.
No doubt by the end of today there will be 3 or 4 more players linked to Arsenal and tomorrow we can add a further half a dozen. These keeps us all guessing as to what is going on behind the scenes, what players is Wenger actually talking to and has the club made any offers for any players.