It appears that both Park and Santos have been signed subject to work permits, which we need confirmed today.
Arsenal are in advance talks with long-term transfer target Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, with a fee in the regions of €10M having been agreed. Mertesacker is 6’ 6”, which will help us at both ends at set pieces. The German defender is 26 years old (27 in September) and has played 74 times for Germany. This is the experienced tall commanding defender that we have been crying out for, his critics talk about his pace, but how quick is Djourou and how effective is Djourou?
Arsenal have made enquiries about Benayoun and Malouda, I expect one of these two to join Arsenal. Malouda is a more direct player with an eye for goal, whilst Benayoun is a creative player but is injury prone.
It is possible that Wenger could conclude four deals for £25M, leaving the Cesc transfer fee free for two major signings.
With the arrival of Mertesacker, does this signal the end of the Cahill deal? Gartside must have regretted his comments over the week-end that infuriated Arsene Wenger. If Gartside had kept quiet and merely told Arsenal that £6M plus Bendtner was a non-starter but can we talk about cash plus a loan deal, then Cahill could still be an option. Bolton’s problem is that Cahill is in the last year of his contract, if he refuses to sign a new contract, then Bolton will lose the one major asset for nothing and this is a club with major financial problems.
I still believe that Wenger fancies Cahill, but he refused to pay £17M for Cahill. Wenger’s valuation is probably around £10M. Unless Spurs step in and offer Bolton £15M for Cahill, I can see Wenger renewing his interest in Cahill tomorrow, but this time he will not be desperate for the player as he would have secured Mertesacker. Bolton will be negotiating from a position of weakness and the deal could be clinched for around £10M. If this happens, this is typical Wenger, the artful poker player, always ensuring that the cards are stacked in his favour.
Wenger’s pursuit of either Malouda or Benayoun is a sign of defeat in the purchase of Hazard. Lille were always reluctant to sell both Gervinho and Hazard in the same window, so this is a player that goes onto the backburner and the pursuit starts again next summer.
Arsene will turn his attention north, and in particular Everton. The targets are Arteta, Fellaini or even Rodwell. Rodwell will be a typical Arsene move, a young player, someone who will be in demand in a year’s time from Manchester United, but the cost will be £20M, which will concern Arsene. Arteta is a player whom we made a bid for in the past (probably £6M!), he is creative but as with so many of our players on the small side. The one that I would like to see is Marouane Fellaini. He is young, 23 years old, tall 6ft 4” and is a solid midfielder. Fellaini cost Everton £15M three years ago and Everton are trying to extend his contract, however a bid from Arsenal around £20M could tempt cash strapped Everton. Everton have not spent any money this summer meaning Moyes has been unable to strengthen his squad, £20M wil lalow the Everton manager to go into the market at this late stage.
If Arsene finishes August with Park, Santos, Mertesacker, Malouda, Cahill and Fellaini, then Arsenal fans will be looking forward to the Swansea match on 10 September, the doom and gloom of August will be behind us.
The 8-2 defeat at the weekend has forced Wenger into the transfer market, rumours are flying around everywhere.
Two deals that are virtually done will Park Chu Young join Arsenal from AS Monaco. Park is South Korea’s captain and a striker who does not have an impressive record in club football. Park was due to join Lille when Wenger hi-jacked the deal, the fee has been reported as anything from £2.6M to £10M. The second signing is Fenerbahce’s Brazilian left back Andre Santos for a reported £6.2M. As always Arsenal have remained silent over both deals.
Everything else is wild speculation.
L’Equipe is announcing that Arsenal have signed Per Mertesacker. The article reports that the players was signed last night.
Numerous reports have stated that Arsenal have made inquiries about three Chelsea players, Benayoun, Malouda and Alex. Malouda is the player that Wenger should aim to buy from Chelsea.
The Arteta/ Bendtner swap is being rumoured on plenty of sites. This will be a good buy for Arsenal, Arteta is a creative, combative midfielder, though prone to injury, so will be a perfect Arsenal player.
Speculation is rife that Cahill and Hazard are due for medicals today or tomorrow at Arsenal, I suppose if a rumour is repeated often enough, people will take it as being the truth. Hazard will be a difficult transfer to complete as we snapped Park from under the noses of Lille. The deal may be sweetened if we allow Joel Campbell to go on loan to Lille. The Cahill saga will drag on and unless Wenger buys alternatives, and L’Equipe claims we have, then Wenger will be castigated ifwe do not buy Cahill.
It is going to be a helter-skelter couple of days, but what Arsenal fans must be asking is why were these players not brought in before the season started?
Arsene Wenger has gone one record as saying he will augment the current squad today or tomorrow. Expect tomorrow to be a hectic day with rumours and counter rumours. There are two positions that Arsene will be looking at, central midfield and another wide midfielder.
One position that we need to re-enforce is the wide positions. We currently have Nasri, Walcott and Rosicky. Wenger likes to play Eboue, but in all honesty, he supplies very little and is not effective. Unless
the boss plays Eduardo out wide we are short of options. Malouda was a player we looked at last season, but were not prepared to meet Lyons’ valuation nor the wages offered by Chelsea. He is a good athletic player and French! He has not settled in at Chelsea and they would like to re-coup some of the transfer fee. A move by Arsenal for the winger in the region of £9M will test the Blues determination as to whether Malouda is part of Scolari’s future or not. Again he has the attributes of being a winner and experience, under Wenger the Premier League will see the best of Malouda, and it will give the player the chance to establish himself on the world stage after a disastrous first season at Chelsea. We did business with Chelsea last summer and the summer before at midnight bringing two other French players to the Emirates, Lassana Diarra and William Gallas, so do not be surprised if another makes the switch tomorrow night.
The central midfield position has been debated long and hard all summer, several of our “targets” have either joined other clubs or extended their contracts at their current clubs. Add to this the complication that some might be cup-tied for the Champions League and Arsene tendency to the unexpected and it is anyone’s guess as to who will sign. I still think that Alonso is our main target and this will give Benitez the money to make a final push for Barry. Do not believe the public pronouncements of Barry, if Liverpool make a bid that is near the Aston Villa asking price he will be in his car and up the M6 so quick that O’Neil will not know what to do. Alsono will give us experience and variety in midfield. His array of passes will open defences, and his shooting ability is something that we have lacked in midfield. Wenger has stated that a cup-tied player is not an obstacle for him.
Many stories doing the rounds today claim that West Ham will offer Arsenal £8M for Djourou and Metzelder will be joining on loan from Real Madrid. What we need to ask ourselves is does this make sense? Metzelder will join and be our reserve cente back after Silvestre, how has this advanced his own career, leave Real to join Arsenal and still not be guaranteed a centre back berth? Wenger has said you need four centre backs in the league, we have Gallas, Toure, Silvestre and Djourou and Alex can play there too. Where is the logic in selling a young and promising defender to replace him with a loan trasnfer who will probably not join next season? Metzelder is an experienced defender, but his performances at Euro 2008 were not anything to write home about.
A move for Alonso and Malouda will be great for Arsenal, projecting us back into title contention with two experiences winners and goalscorers, whislt the Metzelder transfer has no logical merits to it, it is short temr at the expense of the long term development of Djourou, certainly not the Arsene way.