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.
Could this week be the most exciting week in Arsenal’s transfer history?
With the Confederation’s Cup over and Brazil crowned champions, it is time to see if Arsenal’s pursuit of Felippe Melo is indeed a true pursuit or merely more newspaper talk. Arsenal are reported to have offered Phillipe Senderos as part of the deal, but Wenger will not accept Fiorentina’s valuation of £21 million for the Brazilian international.
With pre-season training due to start next, Arsene will be looking at securing the signature of the Brazil central midfield enforcer sooner rather than later.
Of the transfer stories this is the more realistic.
Now we enter the field of Sunday newspaper fantasy.
The Sunday Times says Wenger is ready to bid Karim Benzema in the knowledge that the 21-year-old France striker would rather join Arsenal this summer than Manchester United. Arsenal have also been made aware of Benzema’s desire to work with Wenger.
The fee is expected to be in the region of £25 million. This is only possible if we sell Adebayor to AC Milan. This is now gathering pace as AC Milan have said their initial discussion with Arsene Wenger was “friendly”. Quite clearly Wenger sees the departure of Adebayor the key to financing any bid for Karim Benzema.
Could Arsenal really bid for Benzema and trump Alex Ferguson to his number one summer target. Benzema will bring us the speed and guile of Henry; it would be truly an amazing capture.
But is doesn’t end here, oh no, it is Sunday madness after all, so after Benzema we have Arsenal launching a £40 million bid for Franck Ribery.
The Daily Star Sunday says Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes he is now close to pulling off one of the transfer coups of the summer and winning the race to sign the Bayern Munich winger.
According to the newspaper, which is probably the most un respected paper of them all, Wenger will offer of £30m – plus £10m-rated Danish hitman Nicklas Bendtner, this is supposed to be acceptable to Bayern coach Louis van Gaal.
A source close to Arsenal’s top brass confirmed: “Ribery was on the agenda at a recent board meeting – and it could even be a done deal by now. We’re very optimistic.”
So if we believe the week-end tittle tattle we will see Melo, Benzema and Ribery all arrive at Arsenal over the next week or so.