Well, quicker than you could say ‘Great Galloping Gazpacho!’ JosÃ© Antonio Reyes denied reports that he wanted to quit Arsenal and go and play for Real Madrid. He said (in his own words…*cough*…):
I don’t know where these words have come from. But what I would like to say is that I am very happy at Arsenal. At the moment we are all training hard in preparation for the new season and I am excited about not only playing at Emirates Stadium but also helping Arsenal to challenge for honours.
Further to that Arsene Wenger was asked by the Spanish press about Reyes and Cesc and Madrid’s reported interest in them. His response:
They are not for sale. We have not received any offers for these players and I am counting on them for the new season.
All good – but about Reyes I’d take those words with a pinch of salt. AS maintains that the player misses Spain (which I think we all know), that he and his family cannot adapt to life in London and that he is still upset that he was not selected for the Champions League final in May.
There’s no doubt in my mind that a fully fit, focussed and in-form Reyes is a player most teams in Europe would want to have. The problem to me is that he’s never going to reach the kind of form we know he’s capable of playing in England. I think he’s struggled with not having a definite position on the pitch. Maybe with Rosicky playing left this season he could play more as a striker which does seem to suit him better.
I just don’t know. Had it been another summer when we hadn’t lost so many players it would be easier to let him go but if letting him go is the right thing to do wouldn’t we be better doing it now than coping with an unhappy player for the season? Marca’s front page suggests that the first talks between Arsenal and Real about Reyes will take place in Austria where both teams have their pre-season training camps.
Another player on the way is Ashley Cole with The Sun reporting a Â£25m deal to the Russians could be done within the next couple of days. Clubs must name their squads for the Champions League group stages by Thursday so Chelsea will want the deal done by then. However, Marca is reporting that we’ve offered Cole for around Â£18m to, yep, you guessed it, Real Madrid in order to keep him away from Stamford Bridge.
Oh, it’s all fun and games at this summer’s Arsenal sale. If that CL deadline for new players is true you have to hope that we’re making some moves to bring players in so they’ll be eligible.
Update: The Thursday deadline is apparently for the 3rd qualifying round. The deadline for the group stages is the end of August.
I’m not going to hold my breath though. Welcome to another week of fuck all (reverse pyschologytastic!).
We do have a match today though against Schwardorf at 5pm CET. No doubt the manager will be speaking afterwards. It’ll be interesting to hear what he’s got to say.