Another day of excitement for Arsenal in the transfer market without anything actually happening!
Mata has been reported to have tied his colours to the Arsenal mast and rejected Harry Redknapp’s overtures, and nobody actually blames him. Spurs have had their one season In the Champions League, the DVD Box Set has been produced to keep the fans sweet, whilst Arsenal with the acquisition of players like Mata and keeping van Persie fit will challenge for the title next season.
Reports in The Times state that we are going to increase our offer for Jagielka to £13M, this might be more acceptable to Everton, but I still question whether Jagielka is the man for us.
There have been more links with Benzema. It is rumoured that Real Madrid are interested in Tevez and would need to clear out a few players to raise the funds and the wages. The fee is thought to be around £25M for the France striker. This is a player who Wenger rates highly and it could be another Henry situation, whereby his move from France was not a success and Wenger moves in to offer him an escape route.
On the departure front despite the many announcements that Eboue has agreed terms with Galatasaray, there has been no announcement from wither club or player, but a £4m deal has been mentioned in several places.
Antoher player about to leave is our Denmark striker Niklas Bendtner who has been excused from playing a part in our pre-season friendlies to look for another club. Both the Metro and Correio da Manhã have stated that Bendtner is in Portugal and will be unveiled as a Sporting Lisbon player. The fee thought to be In the region of £9M. Bentdner has been slated by many, but we must also ask ourselves was he really given the chance to play in his favourite position, a central striker? Too often he as asked to play out on the wing, when his threat was more aerial and holding the ball.
Another want-away star is left kicking his heals training with the reserves and youth team, this is our illustrious and respectful captain who is also nursing an injury. His beloved Barcelona are not prepared to meet the asking price £35M-£40M. Barcelona are digging in their heals because Arsenal signed Cesc from Barcelona for a nominal fee they are of the opinion that they do not have to pay the asking price. Arsenal fans are resigned to losing Cesc this summer, we just want it sorted out sooner rather than later.
Arsenal’s big week-end is just two days away and Arsenal fans would love to see Mata and a defender unveiled on Saturday before the tournament starts.
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.
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.