Things beginning to stir

A quick Sunday round-up for you.

The squad for the Asian Tour was announced yesterday and there were no real surprises. Cesc was absent, as expected, Eboue, Diaby and Fabianski didn’t travel because of injury concerns, while only the omissions of Nicklas Bendtner and Manuel Almunia raised eyebrows.

The BBC then reported that both players were left behind ‘so the pair could undertake negotiations over potential transfers’. I really have no idea which clubs are involved and at which point the negotiations are. I suspect Almunia could go back to Spain and if we got any kind of transfer fee for him I’d be surprised. We need to offset his wages against the transfer fee so the kind of clubs who would be interested in him can afford him.

As for Bendtner, your guess is as good as mine. He’s been linked with Benfica, Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and others but I just have a feeling he might remain in the Premier League. Whether he could still part of a deal for Cahill is something we’ll find out in due course, but I reckon with the right manager and the right system he’ll score goals in England.

It’s also the first sign of outward movement of players who are on the ‘list’, so to speak. Denilson has traveled on the tour but could well be departing sooner rather than later, and if the two mentioned above do find other clubs this week it opens up room in the squad for new arrivals.

Also included are youngsters Ryo Miyachi and Frimpong Frimpong III. Those left behind include Eastmond, JET and Henri Lansbury. The latter being the only real surprise for me but with his England U21 adventures during the summer he’s been given extended holidays. The decision to take Miyachi is obvious, given the location of the tour, but the chances of him being granted a work permit for the season ahead are slim. Which probably means he’ll be super-awesome in every game he plays.

One man who is on the plane is Samir Nasri. Apparently, in a Daily Mail exclusive, Arsene got ‘tough’ with Nasri and made him travel despite the fact in another article they state quite categorically that he’ll sign for Man City on his return. And his weekely stipend? A trifling £180,000 per week. They go on to say Nasri will be replaced by Stewart Downing. A claim repeated in The People.

Whether we have genuine interest in him I just don’t know. I’m hoping it’s his agent trying to force Liverpool’s hand to sort out the move there sooner rather than later. As for Nasri, I just think if Arsenal had agreed to sell him to City and he’d agreed a £180,000 a week salary there, he wouldn’t be on the plane. I think there’s every possibility that he’ll go but I don’t think anything is done yet.

The Times are reporting (behind their paywall) that Nasri has agreed a £185,000 a week deal and Stan Kroenke authorised transfer talks between the two clubs when it became apparent Nasri would not sign a new deal. A fee of £22.2m is mooted. Quite where the £.2m comes from I dunno.

Wenger has a week in the far-east to chip away at the player, who is likely to be free from agents and hangers-on, so we’ll have to see what happens. We know he’s been persuasive in the past, let’s see if he can still do it. The problem being that the manager’s veneer appears to have cracked and players who were swayed by him and his record might not be so easily persuaded nowadays.

My thinking is this: if we can get £22m for a player in the final year of his contract then it’s marvelous business, provided that money is re-invested in the squad immediately and on a player/players of quality. I would question the mental health of everyone at Arsenal if that money were invested in Downing, for example, but would be more than comforted if it went on someone like Mata.

Next to the Independent and they say the Gervinho deal could be delayed by another week due to visa problems. I imagine that this will somehow be Arsenal’s fault, or another example of us being crap at transfers. If we were any good we really ought to control government policy to suit ourselves. It’ll happen when it happens.

More spurious rumours this morning involve Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega and German defender Per Mertesacker. I would put both of these at ‘not very’ on the likely scale.

As for the Cesc situation, nothing new there. Various Barcelona players touching themselves in their special area as they talk about him but as yet Barcelona have still to make a bid that comes anywhere close to the valuation of one of the best midfielders in the world. And so we remain at an impasse. No doubt more nothing will happen during the week as Barcelona try to bore us into submission.

Right, that’s yer lot, have a good Sunday.


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