Bad Timing For Clichy Contract Story

L’Equipe today decided to publish a story that was fed to me a couple of weeks ago, just hours before tonight’s crucial return leg against Barcelona.

Gael Clichy is stalling on a contract renewal which is why, as broke by, Arsenal have been scouting Celtic’s Emilio Izaguirre as they want to earmark a replacement for Clichy, who they will look to sell if the Frenchman does not sign an extension to his original deal.

I relayed this story to a Fleet Street friend who tried to make contact with Clichy’s agent to clarify the situation but his messages were ignored. He could not get sufficient quotes from Clichy or his agent to back up my information, so his original story was barely picked up by other news publications.

And now L’Equipe have leaked the story today, possibly in tow with Clichy’s agent, to garner a lot of attention prior to the biggest club match to take place anywhere in the world this season.

“Will I prolong my contract? I don’t know and I don’t think about it,” Clichy told L’Equipe.

“The season is still long. I will have time to think about it in the summer.”

The timing of this story is poor, given that Arsenal have a huge match ahead of them. I just hope that none of Clichy’s team-mates have picked up on it as the players’ focus must be on the task ahead at the Camp Nou.

I believe that this is yet another example of a player’s agent utilising the Press in order to gain the best possible deal for his client, and Arsenal are certainly wary of the situation, which is why they have stepped up their scouting in this particular area of the pitch.