Arsenal Transfer Update
Yaya Sanogo aside (not another French kid! #wengerout) it’s all gone quiet in terms of concrete transfer news but here’s what I know – for anyone that’s interested…
SPEND SOME F***ING MONEY!
Why haven’t Arsenal signed anyone yet? Why has the Higuain deal not gone through? Why not increase their bid for Bender? Every one of the targets discussed below are legitimate, i.e. they aren’t agent placed stories, they have all been scouted and earmarked by Wenger and his scouting network as targets.
Arsenal are looking to make a statement this summer with some world class signings, but they can’t sign every one of their targets. There will be top targets, and those to go for if the first choice targets don’t happen – to avoid another last minute sweep. Arsenal’s hands are not tied for the first summer in a long time. They aren’t hamstrung by waiting on want-away players and game-playing agents, and they have the infrastructure to go big on a few players as dead wood has finally begun to be moved on.
Some clubs don’t have to sell (Everton, Leverkusen, Swansea) and some players may not want to come (Cesc, Rooney). The football business is a complex process today – gone are the days where a player is told that he has been sold (Rocky RIP). Players and agents have so much power now that making the right decisions and sticking to them can be a fine art, unless you’re involved in financial doping.
The last I heard was that all formalities with the player were agreed, a fee had been agreed in principle between the clubs and that the deal hinged on Carlo Ancelotti giving the go ahead. I’m still confident of this deal happening.
From what first appeared to be agent talk to a story that won’t go away, what is certain is that Arsenal are interested in investing heavily (excuse the pun) towards a marquee signing that would make the footballing world stand up and take notice. Although not to some Gooners’ liking, you only need to look at Jack’s recent quotes to see what a huge (ahem) coup Rooney would be.
As I tweeted yesterday, an extremely reliable source spoke to a Premier League chairman about something non-Arsenal, then unprompted, said Chairman adamantly stated that there was ‘something going on’ regarding Arsenal and Cesc. I have no other information on this but there certainly is a lot of smoke. I’m certain Arsenal would be keen given first refusal, so all depends on Cesc. Will he want another crack at the Champions League with his home club or fancy a return to his true home?
Has been a favourite of Chief scout, Steve Rowley for a long time. Wenger sees the Belgian as a ready made midfielder that can provide needed strength, aerial prowess and positional flexibility. This deal has slowed not because of the release fee of £24m, which Arsenal are willing to pay, but due to Fellaini’s pay demands.
It emerged yesterday from the German Press that Bayer Leverkusen have turned down a €23million bid for the German international. Bender has been scouted extensively and was the subject of an enquiry (but no bid) by Arsenal in January. Leverkusen don’t need to sell and the player isn’t in a rush to move on, with Leverkusen playing Champions League football this season.
This deal is likely to be completed soon. Wenger has long wanted a top quality, experienced goalkeeper to compete with Wojciech Szczesny, and the Brazil shot stopper fits the bill. Arsenal have looked at Reina, Mignolet, Adler, Cech and Begovic but Julio Cesar is seen as excellent value if they can sign him for £1.5m and meet his £70k/week wage.
Wenger wants an experienced defender, who looks after the ball well and offers sound backup to Mertesacker. It’s clear that Koscielny-Vermaelen is not a partnership that Arsenal want to field and so an experienced organiser, with decent defensive qualities and good range of passing is required. Williams fits that bill but Swansea are obviously reluctant to lose their skipper and are playing hard-ball on the transfer fee.