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.