It looks more and more like Marseille’s Samir Nasri will become an Arsenal player in the near future. Apparently local papers, including the kind of newspaper they give away for free outside the supermarket, are convinced a £13.5m deal will be done.
He’s one of those names you hear about, people tout him as the ‘next Zidane’, but I don’t really know a great deal about him. He’s an attacking midfielder, I suppose in the mould of Hleb or Rosicky, rather than a traditional wide player. Anyway, it’s all speculation at this stage, mostly fueled by people editing his Wikipedia page it seems, so let’s wait and see what happens.
The agent of Roma’s Alberto Aquilani says the player is ‘in talks’ with Arsenal. The agent is Vincezi Morabito, a name you might recognise as the man who claimed Hleb went for ice-cream in Milan but only for ice-cream, nothing more than that, honest. He’s a good player but a local Roma boy and I can’t see him leaving – I suspect this is all to do with upping his profile.
The Sun claims Kolo Toure is fed up and wants to know why William Gallas is shown ‘favourable treatment’ by Arsene Wenger. They also claim we’re planning a £24m move (which would leave us with £1m to spend elsewhere based on that mythical £25m transfer kitty) for Sporting Lisbon’s Miguel Veloso, who says he could leave the Portuguese club. It’s hard to say about the Kolo story, it’s obviously come from somewhere, and as Kolo’s agent is Jonathan Barnett it wouldn’t be a surprise if it started there.
Arsene Wenger says we’ll be stronger next year and that the Birmingham game was the turning point of the season. I can’t argue with the latter but the former remains to be seen. It really does depend on who comes in. I fully accept that some of the players will be older, stronger, fitter, wiser and such, but we won’t be stronger unless we address some of the outstanding issues – e.g reliance on players like Eboue on the wings and the problem at centre-half, which to my mind is the main puzzle for the manager to solve this summer.
A player along the lines of Senderos, who is set to stay this summer, has to be brought in to play alongside Gallas/Toure. I think it’s time for Arsene to accept that the combination doesn’t work. We may have seen some acknowledgement of that with Kolo’s run at right back late in the season. Personally, I’d bring in somebody to play beside Kolo. I know he’s had a difficult season but almost every player does in their career, it doesn’t mean they’re finished or that they should be written off.
And summer wouldn’t be summer without a spurious link to French goalkeeper Sebastian Frey. I don’t think there’s been an off-season since Arseblog started that we haven’t had a story saying we’re looking at him, yet every summer he goes elsewhere. I don’t expect this one will be any different.
And that is about that. We’ll have more transfer news tomorrow. One of these days some part of it will be actually true.