Arsenal are set to renew their interest in Gary Cahill with added vigour during the January transfer window.
Sources close to the club have told some of the authors of Straight Talking Gooners that Arsenal will try again to sign the English defender.
In addition, Bolton manager Owen Coyle has said the following:
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they [Arsenal] came back [with another bid].
“Arsene has always said he is an admirer of Gary Cahill. But the clubs never agreed a fee.
“Gary has nothing to prove. He is a top performer, who is set for a glittering career.”
In the summer, Coyle described Arsenal’s bid as “derisory” and reports emerged that Arsenal bid £6 million for the player. Wenger later announced that these rumours were false. He implied that the offer was higher and that the club had deemed it the correct amount for a player of Cahill’s skill and given that he had just one year left on his Bolton contract.
What surprises me is that Arsenal would want to buy a player that could come on a free only a few months later. Sure, we have defensive frailties, and Cahill could help rectify that problem. But is it worth splashing the cash in January when we can have him for nothing in June?
If Arsenal wanted to buy him, he should have been purchased in the summer that has just passed.
I reckon that Cahill would still sign for Arsenal next summer, even though he may have many clubs vying for his talents, given that his contract runs out. From what I’ve heard, Gary really wants to play for Arsenal – it’s not necessarily all about money for him.
Cahill has previously mentioned that he wants to play at the top level:
“As a professional footballer in general you want to strive and be the best you can and try to get to the highest level you can.”
He went on to state that European football is the top level that he wants to be at. However, should Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, this could prove to be a stumbling block in negotiations.
Owen Coyle, the Bolton manager, has suggested that Cahill will join Arsenal soon. Here’s what he said:
“I totally understand he wants to play at the highest level and Arsenal are an elite club, a club I think he would probably slot into with tremendous style because he is such an accomplished player.
This is encouraging news. I was slightly worried after the whole £6 Million bid issue yesterday. I had worried that Coyle would be offended and decide not to enter in further negotiations with Wenger. Coyle’s comments seem to suggest that the relationship between the two clubs is still good. This is probably due to the loan spell of a certain Jack Wilshere.
Coyle continued with:
“He is more than capable of playing in a team of that stature, but it has to be done at the right business for Bolton Wanderers.
“It was way, way short and I must stress the word way, as it was a million miles short of what Gary Cahill’s valuation is.”
I can understand where Coyle is coming from here. We experienced this with the whole Fabregas situation. If you are going to lose a player, you want to do so with dignity and make sure that you get the right price for him. Hopefully Wenger will come to his senses and realise that Cahill is a necessity, and be prepared to pay at least £10 million for him.
For all we know, the deal could have already been done, and so this would merely be speculation (bear in mind that the Jenkinson deal was made months before it was officially announced on the Arsenal website), but it seems as though the Cahill situation is a waste of time. Let me just clarify that. I am not saying I do not want Cahill at the club, quite the contrary. I am just saying that it could be, and should be sorted out as quickly as possible, seeing as we need to sign another two players on top of Cahill, and we are running out of time in this transfer window. Hopefully Cahill will join as soon as possible, and we can focus our attentions on a quality midfielder and attacker.
Reports from TalkSPORT and Deutsche Presseagentur (German press agency) have indicated that Arsene Wenger is set to make a move for Freiburg attacker Papiss Cissé.
The striker, currently plying his trade in the Bundesliga, is a typical Wenger target – relatively unknown, has a decent but not exceptional scoring record and has spent plenty of time in the French leagues. In fact, he has played in the top three French divisions. In his last 110 matches, he has netted 58 goals, but prior to that his scoring record was less impressive. He also has an international pedigree, with 7 goals in 9 appearances for Senegal since his debut in August 2009.
TalkSPORT exclusively revealed that a host of Premier League clubs are looking at bringing the striker to England, including Sunderland, Fulham, Blackburn and Everton.
The Chairman of Freiburg said the following to the Deutsche Presseagentur:
“We have received three concrete offers for the services of Papiss Demba Cissé.
“All three are from clubs in foreign leagues. We are going to consider these offers calmly, but this doesn’t necessarily mean we are definitely going to sell him.”
If reports are to be believed, a fee in the region of £13 million will be needed to secure his services. This may rise if a bidding war begins between the clubs that are interested, which also includes CSKA Moscow and Bayern Munich.
“We lose Gervinho and Chamakh together [due to the African Cup of Nations] so, first of all, it is important to strengthen up front. It is important that we find one midfielder and one defender as well. So we are still short of three bodies.”
Back to Cissé, and it seems that time is running out for Wenger to make a move. A bid may already have been made, given that Freiburg have had three concrete offers.
Cissé himself said the following:
“I have a contract with Freiburg but I want to play at the highest level. The Premier League is a big league and I want to leave.”
If an acceptable offer comes in for Cissé, then Freiburg will probably have to sell him because he wants out.
The latest rumours to hit the media are suggesting that Arsenal are on the verge on signing three players: Joel Campbell, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gary Cahill.
Despite the fact that the Campbell deal was reported to have fallen through, it seems back on the cards. He said that he didn’t want to sign anywhere until after the FIFA U20 World Cup, where he has scored two of his countries four goals in the competition so far. They are in the knockout stages and will play Columbia tomorrow evening. The deal is expected to be completed in the next few days, but if Costa Rica stay in the tournament, the finalisation of the move may take slightly longer.
Arsenal are set to sign the Southampton youngster this week, with a bid of £7 million plus around £5 million add-ons. Alex was close to joining Arsenal in January, but Southampton wanted to have him back on loan for the rest of the campaign, which proved a stumbling block. This time round, The Saints are apparently asking for a 40% sell-on fee to be placed in the contract, which may deter the Gunners. However, plenty of sources have made it clear that Oxlade-Chamberlain is already having a medical at Arsenal today.
Steve Rowley supposedly saw Cahill play as Bolton lost 1-0 to Levante on Friday night. Arsenal are thought to have been keeping tabs on several defenders this summer – Jagielka, Samba, Dann and Cahill. It is also reported that Cahill has been watched on more than 20 occasions. The 25 year old will probably cost over £15 million, but Cahill is young, English and clearly talented. Sources close to the club have revealed that Cahill is likely to sign for the Gunners in the next few days.
Personally, he is my favourite defender out of those that we have been linked with. I will be very pleased if he does complete the deal to Arsenal. Furthermore, if both Cahill and Oxlade-Chamberlain sign, then Arsenal will have added three English players to the squad this summer, which is good for two reasons. Firstly, an English backbone to a Premier League side brings strong communication and the English grit and determination (look at Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd). Secondly, if any home-grown player rules do come into effect in the next few years, we will be ready to accept them.
However, out of these three players, Cahill is probably the least likely to sign for Arsenal. The other two deals are all but done, according to the media and other sources.
In order to avoid yet another season without a trophy, Arsène Wenger is under more pressure than ever to spend the money available to him this summer in order to strengthen the squad. Reports suggest that Wenger has around £40 million available to him (maybe more depending on the sales of several players who look set to leave the club). Although he is unlikely to spend millions on a world-class striker, I do think that Le Boss will be considering his options and Arsenal fans may be surprised at the way in which the money is spent.
When interviewed after the Bolton game, Wenger said “We have to strengthen the squad where it needs it and make the right decision. It’s [transfers] always in my mind every day.”
One thing is for sure – Wenger cannot continue to have his own agenda when it comes to the running of the club. Many fans are already unhappy at the way that the club is being run (several anti-Wenger facebook groups have been steadily gaining popularity) and the fact that Stan Kreonke has bought the club puts added pressure on Wenger to obtain results.
Today I am going to focus on players who could be brought in to the club:
TalkSport have suggested that Arsenal are one of several Premier League clubs interested in signing Udinese star Gokhan Inler. Wenger is apparently watching the 26 year old, who plays in the deep-lying midfield role – similar to Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano – believing that he could offer cover to our defence. Inler is thought to be valued at around £8 million, meaning that he is at the low end of Wenger’s budget. Likeliness Rating: 2/5
There are also rumours circulating which link us to former Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski. Wenger needs to sign a decent striker who is able to score important goals, especially when Robin Van Persie is injured. Even when he isn’t injured, Van Persie likes to drop deep and work the ball around the box (although this is not a criticism of our Dutch star – it is one of his strengths). What the team needs is a player who will make decent runs in/around the box and really try to attack the ball.
I can’t imagine that Podolski will cost much more than £12 million (which is a lot when you consider that the most Wenger has ever spent on a player is £15m for Andrei Arshavin) and I reckon the German international would fit into our team relatively easily.
Likeliness Rating: 3/5
As I pointed out in my article that followed the loss to Bolton, Arsenal’s defence leaves much to be desired – especially when defending set-pieces. Wenger himself has recently acknowledged that the club lacks an influential defender. An interesting statistic that further proves my point is that set-pieces account for more than half of the goals that Arsenal have conceded in the Premier League this season. There are two players whose names have been mentioned on several occasions in recent weeks that could fill the gap.
1) Gary Cahill
Ray Parlour has suggested that Wenger should sign Gary Cahill over the summer in order to bolster the defence. Parlour made over 400 appearances for the club, which included 6 seasons under Wenger during which he was part of the “Invincibles” of the 2003/04 season, and knows exactly what makes a good defender.
“I’d buy Cahill straight away and try to mould him into Tony Adams. If Arsenal had a Tony Adams at the back now they’d win the league – no doubt about that.
“They’ve been very close but they need two stoppers, players who aren’t going to concede goals. We all know they’re great going forward and will score goals.”
It is thought that Wenger has already shown some interest in signing Cahill, who has had a decent season for Bolton. His manager Owen Coyle believes he will go on to play for a top club, but whether Cahill will actually make a move to a bigger side this summer remains to be seen. The main problem is that he is a similar player to Koscielny in terms of his style. Although he is probably less error-prone than our French defender, Wenger is unlikely to go and buy a player who could “kill” Koscielny’s progress. Likeliness Rating: 2/5
2) Benedikt Howes
Shalke defender Benedikt Howes has attracted the attention of many managers following his clubs recent success in the Champions League. Until today, Shalke had maintained a 100% home record in Europe this season. Howes did not feature due to injury as Shalke lost to Manchester United, but scouts from Premier League clubs have watched him on numerous other occasions. It is suggested that we are set to fight with Spurs for the German’s signature. Likeliness Rating: 3.5/5 Wenger is always interested in bringing in players that nobody knows much about. How many Arsenal fans can honestly say they had ever heard of Laurent Koscielny before he came to the club?
“Our defensive record has been good of late. Our fit centre-halves have done well and will hopefully get through this period without problems. If needed I can put Alex Song in there and there is also Ignasi Miquel who has been in a couple of squads recently. So transfer-wise I am happy with what I’ve got and I don’t want to harm the progress of our current defenders. We have top quality in that department.”
It is well known that Wenger is always looking for a reason to tell us why he hasn’t brought many English players to the club in recent years. The main reason is always that Premier League players are too expensive and many people think that you don’t get good value for money. Wenger’s policy is to look for young, emerging talents from abroad that don’t come with the hefty price tag.
Manyl Gooners are wondering why Wenger seems to be so stubborn when the club are in need of defensive cover. Players like Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Christopher Samba are begging for a place in our team as replacements for Squilacci and Vermaelen, who are out with long-term injuries.
I belive that I have found the answer. Speaking about the Darren Bent transfer, Wenger said:
“They [Premier League signings] are very expensive – look at Bent… If you look at the transfer prices in England, the inflation is still there and they have added the VAT to all the prices.”
As anybody who pays attention to the news will know, the VAT level was increased from 17.5% to 20% on January 4th. It took a lot of research, but I am lead to believe that the laws on transfer fees are slightly ambiguous. In previous seasons there was a loophole that meant that Premier League clubs paid VAT on transfers, but claimed it back tax deductible. However, the laws have recently been changed and all clubs now pay full tax.
Obviously Wenger knows best, and I think he is definitely right on this occasion. It is clear that VAT is causing all the problems. For example, it was reported before the New Year that Wenger was interested in signing Christopher Samba for around £8 million. If you add on the extra 2.5% VAT to that price, he would now cost us around £8,160,000. This £160,000 means that we would be massively overpaying- something that Wenger is obviously not willing to do!
As I seem to have way too much free time at the moment, I sat and worked out that if the price for Samba had been £7,833,372.50 before the transfer window opened then he would now cost just over £8 million (once the new VAT rate is accounted for). I know that this would still be over the price that Wenger was willing to pay for him, but I am more than willing to spot Wenger the extra fourty quid if he really needs it.
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Arsène Wenger has said that he may be forced to look for some defensive cover during the January transfer window, after it emerged that Sebastian Squillaci picked up a hamstring injury in the game against Leeds. Squillaci faces a long spell on the sidelines and, with Thomas Vermaelen still suffering from his long-term achilles injury, this leaves the team with only two centre-backs at an important point in the season.
It seems that defence must be at the top of Wengers priorities. Wenger said “If we only have two centre-backs then that cannot work… If Squillaci has a problem then we must quickly go out for a player.” Our team simply couldn’t function without any defensive cover for Djourou and Koscielny, especially as we are playing Barcelona towards the end of February.
The question is will Wenger buy a big centre-back with lots of experience who could be a future first-team player, or will he simply opt for a “short-term” option while Vermaelen and Squillaci recover? Last year we signed Sol Campbell in a similar situation, but this season I think Wenger may be looking for something a bit more permanent.
Djourou has been in good form this season, but I don’t rate either Koscielny or Squillaci since they joined in the summer, so I would like to see another experienced player added to the squad. We have been heavily linked with Gary Cahill, Per Mertesacker and Phil Jagielka but Wenger is extremely frugal and is unlikely to meet high asking prices. My bet is on Christopher Samba, who has expressed his desire to leave Blackburn on several occasions.
Whatever happens, I would think that Wenger would like to get any deal done as soon as possible, rather than wait until the dying moments at the end of the transfer window in three weeks time.