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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.


No New Faces But We Can Still Be Champions

The window has shut and once again Arsenal fans are left scratching their heads.  Where has our team re-building gone, were we really that close to success last season that we did not need to add to our squad?

Arsene said, after the purchase of Vermaelen that he would like two more players in before pre-season training starts.  He then intimated that once Adebayor leaves, then Chamakh is a target.

 Rumours and stories had us link with Hangeland, Chamakh, Melo, van der Vaart and Matuidi.  In the end we did not buy anyone.  Some stories state we were not prepared to pay the extra £7million to secure both Chamakh and Matuidi.  We had offered £5million for Chamakh and £6million for Matuidi, their clubs wanted £10million and £8million respectively.    If this is true this is very short-sighted on the club’s part.

 If Arsene thought two players would have made the difference to the squad, then £7million is nothing when you consider that we sold Toure and Adebayor for £40million and only invested £10million in Vermaelen, there is still £30million in the coffers.

 At the end of the day no matter what we read or hear, Arsene is the boss when it comes to the transfers at Arsenal, he is given a budget and supplements it with sales and he decides the value of players not the board.  Arsene has opted not increase the bids for Chamakh and Matuidi not the board.

 It appears that Arsene is convinced that the squad is right, he believes that the players have matured and learnt from the last two years and with a bit tweaking in terms of tactic the current squad is capable of brining the elusive silverware to the Emirates.

 The key to success this season are injuries.  We need to keep key players fit or try to avoid injuries to key players at the same time. The start has been promising and we have the personnel to challenge this season.  There will be countless knockers this season claiming we are one dimensional, the squad is too thin and too young; but look at how we have started and this gives me cause to be confident.

Transfer Day Flurry?

Will there be a flurry of transfer activity on deadline day at Arsenal?

Philippe Senderos has left it late to find a new club and the rumours are that either Portsmouth or Hull City  will make a move for the Swiss international.  This is a mighty drop after playing for AC Milan and Arsenal, but with no other takers and Senderos being sixth choice after Gallas, Vermaelen, Djourou, Silvestre and Song, it is best if the Swiss stopper moves to a team that will give him regular football.

Once again Arsene could have left it late, but moves are afoot to sign the highly rated Blaise Matuidi from St. Etienne.  Arsenal are haggling over two million pounds, when you consider that the club’s turnover for one game is in excess of £3million, it makes you wonder if we will get a reality check when it comes to transfers or will we continue to live in cuckoo land?

The other player is Marouane Chamakh.  West Ham are also interested, but Chamakh has made it clear he will stay at Bordeaux until next summer and leave on a free transfer rather than join West Ham.  Arsenal, once again offered £5million for the player, whilst Les Girondins want a fee in the region of  £10million.  Arsene should make an improved offer of say £8million and secure the signing this summer.

Both of these deals will make a vast improvement to our squad.

Whether Arsene stops with these two depends on his assessment on the fitness of Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott and Arshavin.  We cannot afford to go into the next round of fixtures with only one of these players available.  Rosicky will be a player who will be in and out this season, whilst Walcott is always suffering with injuries.  Do not be surprised if Arsene adds \a third player today.

Is Wenger Going To £30m on One Player?

One of the main stories doing the rounds is a £30m bid; yes read it again a £30m bid for Roma’s central midfielder Daniele di Rossi.

Where did all this speculation come from?  Well a couple of days ago an eagle eye blogger spotted that Daniele di Rossi was being shown as an Arsenal player on Wikipedia.  Well that is no great source as anyone with an account can alter Wikipedia.  On the same day reported that di Rossi had appeared as an Arsenal player with the number 13 shirt.  A similar thing happened last season with Nasri.  Needless to say the website was quickly changed.

Today several sources are stating that di Rossi is Wenger’s number one target and that Roma will sell him as they have financial difficulties.  What does not stack up is that Roma will want around £25m and I cannot see Wenger spending that on once player, especially if he can buy say Matuidi for £6m-£8m.

Is this a classic hoax created by a few bloggers, similar to the one started two season ago when The Sun reported that Arsenal were about to sign Rodrigo Palacios from Boca Juniors.