Transfer deadline day looms and Arsenal are still in the market for midfielders, this is not idle blog gossip but Arsene Wenger stated we are short of players in this area. This became self-evident in recent games were the creativity has been left to Rosicky and his best days are behind him.
Today is a day we will all go mad in following rumours and tweets.
MVila was the player we were linked with and apparently made a £22M bid for the France international, but Rennes want £30M. I doubt Wenger will stretch to £30M, but Wenger could try and push this one through, though M’Vila is more of a defensive player.
Until the window is closed the Eden Hazard to Arsenal bandwagon keeps rolling on, though Lille are reluctant to sell to Arsenal following the Park transfer, the possible arrival or Joe Cole on loan and also Arsenal could offer Chamakh as part of the deal. Though it is being reported in La Voix du Nord that Liverpool have first refusal on Hazard for 2012 due to the possible Cole deal.
Further afield, Italy in particular, Arsenal have been linked with Montolivio and Vargas from Fiorentina. Could Wenger go for a double Italian scoop?
Closer to home Wenger has made inquiries about Everton duo Arteta and Felaini and also Chelsea duo Benayoun and Malouda.
My preference will be for the Everton duo, but in dealing with English clubs the transfer fees will be inflated, but the positive is that we know what they can do in England with no bedding process required.
Do not discount a last minute move for either Gary Cahill or Chris Samba.
On exit front Bendtner, the self-confessed best striker in the world, is in talks with Stoke City. Manual Almunia has disappeared off the radar; this is daunting as he could appear in an Arsenal shirt in the forthcoming months. Two other Arsenal players that could have gone in this window, but arte likely to stay as we are short of players are Arshavin and Rosicky.
Most worrying is Henri Lansbury. Wenger went on record to say he will give him a chance, but Lansbury’s appearances this season were against Liverpool when we were down to 10 men and a cameo appearance at the Old Trafford Massacre. Not really the chance the Lansbury deserves. If Wenger cashes in on Lansbury, Arsenal FC should close down its Academy. This is one of the best players to come out of the Academy and he has been given zero opportunity by Arsene, whilst the likes of Rosicky and Arshavin stroll around the pitch with minimal effort.
What amazes me is that deals can be concluded in hours at this time of the season, players jet in from everywhere to undertake medicals in a matter of hours, whilst during the rest of the window it could, if you are an Arsenal fan, take weeks for transfers to be concluded.
When the season came to a close, Arsene stated that we needed a bit more strength and experience in the squad, in particular in defence. The old sage has since enlightened us with the fact that he will be busy this summer, this was then refined that most business will be done at the end of July . Le Professer told us that we will bring in one more defender (f we can) and that he wishes to keep Cesc and Nasri.
These were the titbits that gave us all hope that changes were afoot, players will come in and deadwood would leave.
Three weeks before the start of the season and we need to take stock of where we are.
Clichy has left to Manchester City, Eboue is about to leave for Galatasaray and could be joined there by Arshavin. Cesc is so desperate to leave that it is affecting his fitness as he is suffering with a hamstring that has not cleared up after 3 months treatment. Nasri has made it clear via his representatives that he will not sign a new contract and will leave next summer on a Bosman. How can Arsenal allow this to happen, this is a disgrace and we should sell Nasri. Denilson has not been able to find any clubs willing to pay for him, so it is a season long loan to Sao Paulo for him, whilst Bendtner is also struggling to find anyone prepared to pay a fee. Also due to leave is our mercurial goalkeeper Almunia.
That is eight first team squad players that will be absent at the start of the season. Added to this list are the possible departures of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and more worrying is the possible transfer of Henri Lansbury.
The departure of these two youngsters is something that all Arsenal fans need to be worried about, they follow the long list of youngsters sold without being given the opportunity to prove themselves. What is it with Arsene and our home-grown players, why are bothering with a youth academy if just sells them once thy turn 19 or 20? The coaches at Hale End must be pulling their hair out. Lansbury was a pivotal member of the under-21 team for England this summer and now he is being shown the door, this is a DISGRACE.
So how busy has Arsene been in the transfer market? We have managed after a very long time to sing Gervinho a transfer that took so long so of us doubted it would ever happen. Also added to the squad is Carl Jenkinsson, and that is it.
We have been linked with Chris Samba, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Ricardo Alvarez, Juan Mata, Santi Carzola, Matthieu Valbuena, Jose Enrique and Joel Campbell. Many sources have stated that we have been in discussions with these players, their clubs or their representatives. What has been the outcome? Alvarez went to Inter Milan because we were not prepared to pay the extra £1.5M wanted by his club. Samba, Cahill and Jagielka we have been making silly offers for these players, not really re-assuring if you are one of these players to know that Arsenal are not really prepared to push the boat out for you. Mata has a release clause of £23M, so we are prepared to offer £15M.
It is the same old story, someone at the club is not prepared to pay the extra money to secure the players we need. Who is this someone, Wenger or Gazidis or both? Whoever it is it is a disgrace. This club has lost major players every season and has not replaced them, there is only so long a club can paper over the cracks, if we do not bring in players of quality this summer then Wenger will have to answer to the fans not the board for his failure to buy this summer.
This is the week that Arsene said he will do business, Monday has gone and still no players, time is running out and the fans patience is wearing thin.
Saturday morning brings about more transfer rumours, speculation and heart-ache for Arsenal fans.
Samir Nasri is reported to have rejected Arsenal’s new offer of £115K a week. This is on the back of some newspaper reports stating that Nasri’s representatives having agreed a deal withManchesterCity. If both reports are true, then the uncertainty that Arsene has talked about in recent interviews needs to come to an end. Arsene needs to assess his options in the transfer market, be they Juan Mata, available for around £22M, Santi Carzola (£18M) and Mathieu Valbeuna (£15M) and bring closure to the Nasri story. The club cannot have a player in the squad who will not sign a new contract irrespective of what the weekly wages are and who has made it obvious that he will run his contract down to the end of the season. A deal withManchesterCitywill result in a £25M transfer, sufficient to bring in any of the three players that we have been linked with as a replacement for Nasri.
Nasri has shown Arsenal little loyalty, we took him fromMarseilles, made him into the player he is, but he sees no reason to repay the club or manager with loyalty, so it should au revoir to Samir next week and the club moves on.
Arsene will need to move fast in the transfer market to replace Nasri asMalagaare already reported to be hovering over Carzola, whilst Mata has been linked with Tottenham and Valbeuna could be a target for Manchester United if they do not sign Schneijder.
The boss has stated that “Certainly, we will have to find one more defender.” To the sceptics this means one defender and that’s my lot, to those of us who still have optimism it means at least one more defender. Arsene will not be drawn on names, unlike other managers, which is respectful, but we all know the short-list consist of Jagielka, Cahill and Samba. The question that Arsenal fans will be asking is when will it happen? We are not the only club looking for new defenders and the longer we take the chances on missing one of these players increases as does the transfer fee. Liverpool,Chelseaand Tottenham are all in the market for centre-backs, so we need to be decisive in the market and sign at least one of these players early next week.
Arsenal have already made a bid for Jagielka, which according to some reports was £10M, a figure lower than the offer we made last summer! Cahill and Bolton are back from theUSAtour, so expect Wenger to open talks with Owen Coyle about theEnglandinternational who has one year left on his contract, but has a £17M release clause. Arsenal are not prepared to pay £17M, valuing the player around £12m. Arsenal have several players that could be used as part of the deal. Lansbury, Bartley and Miguel have all been mentioned as possible loanees. This will suit Arsenal andBolton. Boltonare short of money and have few saleable assets, Coyle has done will with loan players in recent years. Arsenal will want to give players like Bartley and Lansbury regular Premier League football so this could be the solution.
The Cesc saga rumbles on, but should be concluded early next week. Barcelonaare offering Arsenal a fee in the region of £34M, which Arsenal may ask to be increased by the inclusion of Abidal in the deal. This will allow Cesc to move to his belovedBarcelonaand give Arsene £34M to spend in the market NEXT WEEK.
The pre-season tour to the Far East is over and we are entering the transfer season. Wenger told us that clubs will wait until the end of the month to make their moves and Wenger will be one of those. Ivan Gazidis said he spent the week in the Far East to discuss Arsenal’s transfer strategy with the boss.
The worst kept secret is out, Arsenal are going to discuss the transfer of Cesc Fabregas with Barcelona. Pep Guardiolla has gone public on this and unlike Mancini’s courting of Nasri; Wenger has remained silent, which implies that Cesc is on the move. The two clubs are not a million miles apart on valuation and a deal will be struck this week at around £35M plus either performance related payments or Eric Abidal.
This £35M will give Arsene plenty of money to play the field with, plus with Cesc gone and his £110K a week salary, no doubt Wenger can use this money to entice Nasri into signing a new deal. It is already reported today that Arsenal will offer Nasri £120K a week.
Over the week-end a story broke that Arsenal were about to sign a 19 year-old Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell. A fee was agreed with the club, a five year deal agreed with the player and a medical set-up. Then the player, on advice from his father does not turn-up as another club had made a better offer. This was the second South American / Central American deal masterminded by Arsenal executive Richard Law to fall flat. We all remember how we had a done deal with Ricardo Alvarez, only to see him sign for Inter Milan. It must be so frustrating for Wenger to see two deals collapse after we had made all the running. Do we question the ability of Richard Law to clinch the deals?
Rumours out of nowhere have now linked us with a blast from the past, Franck Ribery. It has been reported that we are in advance negotiations with Bayern over a potential £22M transfer. Ribery is 28 years-old and has been beset with injuries over the last 3 years, so in that respect he is ideal for Arsenal as none of our players go through a season without two or three lengthy lay-offs. He scores goals and is also a creator of goals for Bayern, but will Wenger spend £22M on a player who is injury prone and has no sell-on value? On the other hand if Arsenal wanted to make a statement of intent, then Ribery is the man. He would take over from Nasri on the wing allowing Samir to play in the “hole” as the playmaker.
Now that Wenger and Gazidis are back in England, perhaps their attention will be focused on recruiting a centre-half or two. Samba was supposed to be wrapped up earlier in June, yet it appears we have not even made an enquiry. Blackburn Rovers have financial difficulties so a £10M bid would be accepted. Cahill who we should have bought last summer is the other centre-back target. Again it is amazing that we have not contacted Bolton over Cahill. It is time to stop pretending all is okay in the world of the Arsenal defence and make a the move, either Cahill or Samba or potentially both. The money will come in from the Fabregas sale, plus our “substantial resources” so what is the problem?
The next ten days promises to be a real roller-coaster ride for Arsenal fans as players are linked to us and Wenger keeps his cards close to his chest, but sooner rather than later he will have to make a move.