Another Saturday comes around and the usual suspects are still being linked with Arsenal.
Ricardo Alvarez, yes the player were supposed to have signed on a free transfer, who then become subject to a tug of war between Arsenal and Manchester United, is back in the frame or perhaps not. Arsenal sent over representatives to discuss the transfer with his club Velez Sarsfield, reports (or rumours) were that Velez wanted £10M. The trail went cold, then TalkSPORT reported that Roma were to sign the Argentine winger. Now we have Argentine media reports stating the Alvarez will sign for an English club next week. All we can say is that Alvarez is a player that Wenger has identified as someone who can add to our attacking options, though once the name is out in the football world other teams will jump on the bandwagon. As usual Arsenal are remaining very quiet, though we know that Wenger is due to go to South America soon, could it be to conclude the deal for Alvarez?
An old favourite has re-emerged, Blaise Matuidi, the St Etienne midfielder stopper / playmaker is back on the scene. This is the third summer we have been linked with Matuidi, the first link was in 2009 when we were “close to signing” Matuidi for £2.5M, then in 2010 the fee had risen to £8M when we about to sign the St Etienne player, now we are being linked with a £13M offer. It has been rumoured that Blaise has indicated that Arsenal is his preferred destination, but Wenger’s priorities are defence and attacking options, at least until he knows what will happen with Fabregas. Will Wenger spend £13M on Matuidi, I doubt that will happen, this story is more about Matuidi’s agent trying to drum up interest in his player.
Arsenal were also linked to Samuel Eto’o, but at £30M and 30 years old, the only club who would spend that sort of money for a has been are Chelsea. Eto’o is a great striker, but is he really the player we need? Perhaps if the fee was £8M he would be worth considering, but £30M plus £6M a year wages, not even Wenger will be mad to contemplate a deal for Eto’o.
A new player on the block is Jose Enrique the Newcastle United left-back. Enrique is coming into the final year of his contract, and has indicated that he wants to leave. He is 25 years old, 6ft 3” and battle hardened in English football. The Times has indicated that Arsenal have made contact with representatives of Enrique. Enrique would be a perfect replacement for Clichy. He will share the left=back slot with Gibbs and would cost around £8M.
Finally a story breaking from Italy is that Arsenal and Manchester United are in talks, whatever that might mean, with the agent of Mirko Vucinic the Roma striker, the asking price £26M. Vucinic is 27 years old and a Montenegro international. The sources for this story are the player’s agent and as is usual when an agent spreads stories and uses a couple of big teams it is to flush out other potential buyers. I doubt Wenger or Ferguson will even contemplate Vucinic unless the fee was around £12M.
No doubt by the end of today there will be 3 or 4 more players linked to Arsenal and tomorrow we can add a further half a dozen. These keeps us all guessing as to what is going on behind the scenes, what players is Wenger actually talking to and has the club made any offers for any players.
The Arsenal transfer rumour mill is hotting up, and about time.
Lille have confirmed that Arsenal are in talks with Ivory Coast striker cum attacking midfielder Gervinho. The player appears to have indicated that Arsenal are his preference, it now remains to be seen if we offer him a derisory £30K a week or a decent contract. If Lille have agreed for Gervinho to talk to Arsenal this must mean that a transfer fee has been agreed between the two clubs. Harry Redknapp has been mentioned in despatches as having a bid for Gervinho rejected by Lille.
Willian the Shaktar Donetsk and Brazil midfielder is linked to Arsenal with TalkSPORT stating that we have offer cash plus Denilson and have given Shaktar a deadline of Saturday to accept Arsenal’s offer. Willian is a winger who joined Shaktar for $19M in 2007 and his current contract runs out next year. He is 22 years old, but has yet to represent Brazil, so unless he has an EU passport, I cannot see how we will get a work permit for Willian.
Chirs Samba transfer has gone quiet after we were led to believe that he would be our first transfer. Is Wenger having cold feet over the transfer of the Congo colossus? We offered £8M in January, but that was turned down, it would not surprise me if we offered £8M again. The Blackburn Rover manager has said that he would stand in the way of Samba moving on to play Champions League football. Oh, forgot to mention that Tottenham are sniffing around Samba too!
A couple of reports Young Ones and The Sun are reporting that Arsenal are looking at Swedish left-back Alexanxder Milosevic. Milosevic plays for AIK Stockholm and is 19 years old. The fee being mooted around is £3.5M. Wenger could see Milosevic providing Gibbs with competition for the left-back slot as Arsenal are preparing to wave good-byer to Clichy.
Two players that we have been linked with us but things have gone quiet are Gary Cahill and Ricky Alvarez.
Gary Cahill has a £17M buy-out clause, but Arsenal are not prepared to pay that sort of money for a player with one year left on his contract. If Wenger can do a deal for around £12M plus one or two loan players, then he should make it happen. Cahill is better value than £20M for Phil Jones. Cahill is an England international and a move to Arsenal will see him as a permanent fixture in the England team. Cahill is the English centre-half that we have been longing for since the departure of Sol Campbell. It will be interesting if Wenger buys both Samba and Cahill, this will signify a vote of no confidence in Djourou and Koscielny as Samba and Cahill will move ahead of them in the pecking order.
Once the season had ended it was widely reported that Ricardo Alvarez the Velez Sarsfield midfielder had agreed to join Arsenal on a free transfer. It now appears that Arsenal are due to open talks with Velez over the transfer of the 23 year left footed midfielder and no deal has been agreed. Wenger has been widely reported as due to go to South America, and I would expect him to conclude this signing whilst in Argentina.
Our transfer links so far have not included any ball-winning midfielder. We have apparently ruled ourselves out of the Scott Parker deal, at £7M for a 31 year old that is not surprising. With Arsenal chasing several attacking midfielders, I hope Wenger does not neglect the central midfield.
One thing is for sure, unless Wenger has gone mad, we will not be signing all of the above mentioned players, what I would like to see is Benzema added to our squad this season.
After Adebayor’s statements yesterday where he claimed that Arsenal winning trophies is more important than him scoring goals, has been greeted today by reports that Arsenal are prepared to sell Adebayor.
What does not make sense is that Barcelona are still interested in him despite having had a poor season and the price quoted is £20m. Guardiola is not a complete idiot, he will never offer £20m for Adebayor especially after they spent £13m on Hleb who has not settled in at the Nou Camp. We have a record of selling Barcelona our players at inflated prices, only for their careers to go backwards once they arrive in the Catalan capital.
Clearly if any team offered Arsenal anywhere near £20m, Wenger and Gazidis will bite their hand off, especially if Bendtner comes out of cloud cuckoo land and starts to perform on the pitch.
The papers have gone mad in linking us with Huntelaar. He only joined Real Madrid in January for £17m, but already the stories doing the rounds is that he will leave in the summer. Joining Real Madrid is like a lottery, you never know who will be in charge when you arrive or how many managers the club will go through by the end of the season.
Will Wenger go for Huntelaar? If he sells Adebayor in the summer, he might decide that he needs another striker, but is Huntelaar the man. A great scoring record in the Eerdivisie does not ensure instant Premiership success, look at Kezman, Samaras, and Kuyt, none set the Premier League alight with the scoring records. Wenger will know the moment he picks up the phone to Real, they will start asking about Cesc, van Persie and the last thing we need is for whole Real Madrid circus to dominate our summer transfer dealings.
Knowing Wenger, he will look at his current squad, allow Adebayor to leave for a good price and play either Nasri or Arshavin in a more advance role. Alternatively, he will pluck a young striker like Gomis from St. Etienne.
Whilst selling Adebayor is a no brainer this summer, Huntelaar arriving to replace him is non-starter.