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Mata Close to Signing? Centre Back Still Required

As we approach the Emirates Cup and Wenger’s self -imposed timescale for transfers, there are favourable rumblings.

One of Spain’s leading sports newspapers Marca is quoted as saying that Arsenal are close to finalising a deal for the Valencia winger Juan Mata.  The deal is being held up as Tottenham, surprise, have launched a late bid.  The fee for Mata is expected to be at mot €20M as this is his release clause figure, but Marca is quoting €15M.

If we can get this sorted out before the weekend, then this will be a great boost for Arsenal fans.

Out of the blue Arsenal were yesterday linked with Anderlecht and Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia.  The 25 year old has been described as a defensive midfielder.  It is reported that Arsenal have been following him for some time.  The player has indicated that it is time for him to move on.  How much of this story is his agent trying to drum up interest for his client only time will tell.  It is not uncommon for agents to use Arsenal to flush out potential suitors, on the other hand at €6M  he is the kind of player Wenger will try to buy.

Arsenal are also reported to be increasing their bid for Jagielka to £14M.  All Arsenal fans have been calling out for a new centre-back, but is Jagielka really the man for Arsenal.  He will be 29 in August and is no taller than Vermaelen.  Will Phil Jagielka really provide that aggression at set pieces?  Chris Samba is 28 years old and 6ft 4” and is available for around £10M-£12M.  We all know that Samba is a colossus in the box and not many balls will get past him.  Blackburn are under financial constraints despite the sale of Phil Jones to Manchester United.  They are away at the moment, but Wenger and Gazidis should make contact with Blackburn and try to secure a deal for around £10M.

The alternative is Gary Cahill, he ticks all the boxes, English, young (25 years old) and tall (6ft 2”).  Again the stumbling block as always is his fee.  Bolton want £17M, we value him at around £12M as he has one year left on his contract.  Bolton are also a club in debt and Cahill is their last asset to bring in cash.  Owen Coyle has been recruiting players whose wages will probably equal Cahill’s wages. Coyle likes the challenge of a young player to coach and develop.  Look what he did for Wilshere and Sturridge, a cash plus Lansbury and Miguel on loan deal could still be on the cards.

The Fabregas deal should be resolved soon, thus giving Arsene the money to bring in two or three players at least, it would be nice if we bought the players before selling.