Sunday, December 10, 2023

Saturday round-up: Announce whatshisname, Martinez, Mari, Torreira

Morning all. A very quick Saturday round-up for you.

Like many, I was expecting Gabriel Jesus to be announced yesterday, and even had Arseblog News back-up lined as I was out of action for a lot of the day, and Andrew Allen was indisposed also. Nothing happened.

At this point, I think I’d like Arsenal to just never announce him formally, and instead make it official by picking him for a pre-season game. Even then, when they post the line-up on the Twitter account, list the centre-forward as ‘TRIALIST’, or something. The player then announces himself with a perfect hat-trick on his first appearance, left foot, right foot, header. That’s it.

I suppose there might be something in the idea of announcing Jesus on a Sunday, so maybe there’s another day of F5 frustration for those refreshing their browsers and apps and all the rest. There is a rumour going around that the club got Quentin Tarantino to direct the welcome video but there has been a dispute around how many gratuitous close-ups of women’s feet are allowed in it. Arsenal want none, he’s insisting on 13. Mikel Arteta will NOT compromise on this.

Elsewhere, it seems Man Utd are pushing for Lisandro Martinez:

On the face of it, I’d say the odds are stacked against us if they really want him. Ajax have a former Man Utd goalkeeper as their Head of Whatever, who has an obvious connection with their new manager and will favour a deal with them, and the player himself has played for Erik ten Hag. As I said yesterday, I think they will go to serious lengths to ‘win’ a transfer battle because they have a reputation to rebuild, but you never know, I suppose.

Ultimately, I’m not going to get horribly upset about not signing a player I didn’t know very much about until a couple of weeks ago, but it’s all about how Arsenal react. Missing out on Raphinha because he prefers Barcelona, I don’t really know how you can compete with that to be honest. As has been demonstrated, even if we’d agreed a fee with Leeds and said ‘Ok, we’ll just pay whatever you want!’ (which isn’t really the smartest way to do business), Deco (Raphinha’s agent) would have spent the next few days in Spain with his former club to wangle some way for them to make the deal.

I did promise I’d laugh at Chelsea if they missed out, and I’m readying myself for a good chortle if Raphinha end up at the crumbling Camp Nou. I also had a chuckle when I saw stories linking them to Frenkie de Jong because it looks like the new owner’s transfer policy is to look at who other clubs are interested in and try and hijack the deals. Is he some kind of hedge-fund pirate or something?

Of course there’s always frustration when a deal you’d like to see happen doesn’t go through, and it’s exacerbated when that player ends up at a Premier League rival, but as the Fabio Vieira deal showed, we’re capable of pulling off a surprise, so let’s hope that’s the case as we – hopefully – pursue alternatives for Raphinha, and Martinez if he chooses to go to the crumbling Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, we’re reportedly seeking something in the region of €6m for Pablo Mari, which seems about the right kind of fee for him, but whether there any takers is another question. There’s also talk of Valencia being interested in Lucas Torreira, but given they have serious financial issues, are currently considering the sales of their top players to meet financial fair play limits, and there’s local governmental pressure over their new stadium, I’d be very surprised if they could offer us anything substantial for the Uruguayan.

Beyond that, not much stirring. When, not publicly anyway, so I will leave it there for now. Have a great Saturday.

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