Right, well it’s a busy morning and it seems the transfer market is beginning to hot up.
Firstly, bids ahoy for a couple of our players. Liverpool have made a £5m offer for Gael Clichy which is no surprise at all. A move there has long been rumoured, especially since he broke off contract talks back in early April. Some people might think a fee of £5m is too low but he’s in the last year of his contract, he doesn’t seem to have any intention of signing a new deal and considering those factors, plus the quality of the player, I’d say £5m is about right, to be honest.
I wouldn’t be even slightly shocked to see this one go through. It means then that Arsene will have to spend to replace him. There’s no way we can count on Gibbs, his tendency to pick up an injury after a hefty sneeze makes him unreliable at this moment in time, plus I think he’s got some improving to do as player before he can realistically be considered as a first choice player. Likely targets include Leighton Baines and Celtic’s Emilio Izaguirre. We shall see.
The other supposed bid involves Samir Nasri and Manchester United. Whispers of this started on Twitter yesterday and this morning the Mirror suggests that United are ‘ready to offer’ £10m for him. It strikes me there are two possible scenarios here. The first is yet another piece of brinksmanship from Nasri’s agent, trying to force the club’s hand and get that extra £20,000 a week for his client, using United’s ‘interest’ as a threat.
The second is that having discussed the option of a move to United with Nasri the player is open to it and this is the beginning of what could become an ugly situation indeed. Assuming that United’s interest is genuine, of course. Either way it’s a bit shitty and hardly reflects well on the player. Unless there’s a clear and categorical denial of it from Nasri’s camp then it’s hard not to think there’s something to it.
From everything we’re hearing it seems his departure is more likely than him signing a new deal, which is a real shame, but there you go. However, I just cannot see the club sanctioning a deal to United. With frustration already so high it would be utter madness to sell one of our best players to one of our biggest rivals, regardless of the circumstances or however they tried to soften the blow with players coming in.
Again this could be all part of the game, a ploy to make Arsenal more open to selling him abroad (lesser of two evils and all that), and that would certainly be preferable than allowing him to play for them next season. Not least because that would say rather too much about us as a club at this moment in time.
And I do like Goodplaya’s take on what it says about Nasri too. I’m remaining very much on the fence until this thing comes to a head one way or another. It’s disappointing that it’s got to this situation but despite it being unlikely it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we keep him (either with a new deal or for the final year of his contract). In which case there’s little point in castigating the player, however it might change your view of him as a person. We’ve been here before, as Tim Stillman pointed out in his column yesterday, and no doubt we’ll be here again in the future.
Meanwhile the Cesc stuff continues unabated in the Catalan press but really nothing has changed. Barcelona say their transfer budget this summer is €45m + money from players they sell. The reality is that if they want Cesc they’re going to have to cough up pretty much that entire budget. If they really want him, that’s what they’ll do. And the ball is very firmly in their court now.
With regards to players coming in Johan Djourou has been talking and reckons we need them, especially at the back:
We probably need defenders. We are a big club and we need them. I am not worried. I am ready to fight for my place and to be a better player.
To be the best, you need competition in every position. It’s good Arsenal are looking to spend money.
So hearing that it’s no surprise to learn that Arsene’s got his eyes on Lille’s attacking midfielder Eden Hazard. Arseblog News broke the story yesterday that we’ve made contact with Lille about him and with serious interest also in Gervinho we’ll have to wait and see how amenable the French club are to losing two of their best players. Ultimately it will all come down to how much we’re prepared to pay.
As well as that The Mirror reveals that we’ve done the deal for Southampton’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Which I guess is a good thing but at the moment I’m not going to throw a party at the arrival of a 17 year old whose impact in the next season or two is likely to be minimal, unless he’s a ridiculously good player of Cesc proportions. Most likely he’s an investment in the future, which is fine, but we also need investment in the here and now.
The £5m bid for Clichy and alleged £10m for Nasri put into perspective the Gary Cahill situation and his supposed £17m release clause. Arsene simply won’t pay that – and I think he’d be right not to pay that too – but that doesn’t mean we can’t negotiate a deal if we do get to sit down to talk with Bolton. There’s nothing further regarding Samba either so we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires.
I would hope that the manager has his eyes on other defenders too and with Arsenal very much preferring to fly under the radar regarding transfers it wouldn’t be a surprise if we did an Eduardo style deal and brought in a player without so much as a single story about our interest in him beforehand. Anyway, lots going on, not of all it is particularly nice but it’s interesting and much better than nothing. Mostly.
So for now that’s about that, I’m hoping we get another beautiful summer’s day here in Dublin, some more of those torrential hailstones would be nice. Whatever about the IMF and the EU bailout, this new government has failed badly when it comes to the weather.