There are rumours that Koscielny will be offered an improved deal from Arsenal on the back of an impressive second season at the club. His performances have been so composed that many Arsenal fans see him as one of the first names on the teamsheet. Even fan-favourite Vermaelen is often cited as being behind Laurent in the pecking order.
It’s highly unlikely that such form would have gone unnoticed. As we know, there are two clubs that enjoy preying on our players – Man City and Barcelona. So it comes as little surprise that Spanish paper El Mundo Deportivo has reported that Barca want to bid for Koscielny for around €18 million.
LadyArse Gossip notes that Barca may use Fabregas to attract Koscielny to the club, not that it would be necessary – most players would want to play alongside Messi, Iniesta and Xavi. I’d be surprised if Arsenal accepted such a bid given that it is not much more than the sum we paid for Koscielny two years ago. I also doubt that Laurent himself would want to leave a club that his helped him gain international caps and put him on the world stage – at least not so soon. He plays alongside plenty of French-speaking players and seems to be enjoying him time at the club given the comments he regularly comes out with.
In other news, Marca are reporting that Ibrahim Afellay will reject a move to Lille because he would prefer to play for a top European club. In this case, both Arsenal and Inter Milan are being heavily linked with the 26-year-old, who made only 5 appearances for Barcelona last season because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in September.
There is little doubt that Afellay will be on his way out of the Nou Camp this summer. The Dutch winger struggles to feature regularly in the Barca starting line-up, which will prove to be even more difficult if the Catalan giants complete the signing of Athletic Bilbao star Javi Martinez.
It is suggested that Afellay’s friendship with Robin van Persie could be a major factor in his decision. However, assuming that Robin is leaving the club then this has very little to do with anything. The big question is whether Arsenal signing Afellay could convince RvP to stay on that much longer.
Finally, Berbatov is supposedly set to leave United, with the media speculating that he could go for as low as £5 million. He has said the following regarding the Manchester club:
“I love this club, but I am not going to be useful to anyone if I am not playing.”
Naturally, Arsenal has been linked with the Bulgarian. He’s 31 years old with plenty of Premier League experience. He has scored 102 goals in 251 appearances, although recently many of these appearances have been from the bench. It would be ironic if we signed ex-Spurs player Berbatov in the same summer than Spurs signed ex-Arsenal player Adebayor. However, it is pretty unlikely that Utd would sell a player of his quality to us – the only player they have sold to us in recent times was the woeful Silvestre. We have also already signed two strikers this summer, so I don’t expect Wenger to sign a third even if van Persie were to leave.
All three rumours seem far-fetched, probably resulting from a period of few transfers and a lack of real football news.
Valencia have backtracked on their previous stance over the transfer of Juan Mata. Despite their president having told us 10 days ago that Mata was not for sale, the club are now insisting that the Spanish international is for sale for the right price. Speaking to Marca, Unai Emery (their manager) said:
“The possibility exists that Mata will leave the club.
“We want him to stay and Mata has also expressed his desire to stay at Valencia, but at the same time we cannot stop a player who really wants to leave for money or for a bigger club.
“So, if there is a large financial offer from any club, that is good for both us and him, we will have to let him leave.”
Mata himself was coy on any potential transfer; he will just continue to play to the best of his ability and will not be phased by the media interest. His future is now in the hands of Valencia and any clubs that are willing to make a significant offer.
“It is true that teams have been linked with me but this is a good sign that I am playing well. Despite all the rumours, I have to stay calm and step away from all the speculation. I am well aware of the rumours but this is not the first summer I have had to deal with this so they do not worry me. My aim now is to make sure I am ready for the start of the new season and keep improving as a player. I want to win more trophies.”
Even if Arsène Wenger is indeed willing to spend £17 million on a new midfielder, this deal cannot and will not go through until Cesc Fabregas has moved to Barcelona. Wenger won’t spend such a “large” sum until he has secured the £35 million (or £40 million or whatever the value is today) that we will most probably get for Cesc. Spurs and Liverpool are also interested in signing Mata, and there are definitely other clubs (Real Madrid, Man City and Chelsea) who would be willing and able to offer Valencia a ridiculous amount of money to secure his services.
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has given fans a real boost by announcing that the club has not finished its business in the summer transfer window. He expects Arsène to add to the purchases of Carl Jenkinson and Gervinho, indicating that our manager has plenty of funds at his disposal. He also makes it clear that Arsenal likes to conduct any potential deals in private, but that doesn’t explain why every Gooner knew that we would buy Jenkinson and Gervinho, and why many of our transfer deals take so long to complete!
“We still will be active in this window. We haven’t finished our business at all. We’re just not conducting it publicly; we’re working hard privately.
“I’m was out in Asia because I could be with Arsène for an extended period of time and think very, very carefully about strategy and targets.”
Hopefully these quotes are true and not just a PR stunt to keep the fans off Wenger’s back. Ivan is a good speaker – as we saw at the AST. Wenger is not known for splashing the cash, although he will spend significant money if he believes the player will be very beneficial for the team. For example, he has spent in the region of £10 million (including add-ons) plenty of times in the last few years – Nasri, Arshavin, Walcott, Vermaelen, Sagna, Gervinho. However, the question comes when the fee for a player is a lot higher. Will Arsenal break the £20 million barrier this summer? As Robin van Persie said, sometimes you need to spend money to get good quality players.
Ivan also said:
“We understand where the weaknesses have been. Financially we’re in a strong position, we have resources to spend. We’re certainly not sitting there saying ‘let’s hold back on our resources’ for some reason, why would we?
“The resources are there. We’ve got a substantial amount of money that we can invest. The important thing for us, which can be frustrating, is not doing it only in response to a public clamour but in a way that can positively impact our performance next year. That’s the focus now.”
So we have the money. The board have said it for years. But Gazidis also says this summer is not finished. So who will we buy? I can’t see Wenger ignoring the necessities of the team – he has to buy a centre back. However, his comments on Gibbs/Traore indicate that a left-back is low on his list of priorities. Which player would you like Wenger to go for, given that ”we still we be active in this window.”
Arsenal are thought to be lining up a bid for Napoli attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik as a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas. It would seem that Marseille are extremely reluctant to let Mathieu Valbuena move to the Premier League, so Arsène Wenger has instead set his sights on the captain of the Slovakian international team.
However, Napoli will not part company with the 23-year-old easily. Their President even came out this week and gave him a €100 million price-tag. Yes, Hamsik still has 4 years remaining on his contract (so Napoli are in an extremely good position and can to some extent dictate the terms of any transfer), but €100 million seems to me to be completely ludicrous. Maybe that just shows how desperate the Italians are to hold on to him?
To that end, the club’s coach, Walter Mazzarri, remains confident that Hamsik will remain at the club. Apparently he is enjoying life in Italy and is looking forward to playing in the Champions League next season. Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Mazzarri said:
“Marek is happy to work with me and he is very motivated. He is happy to remain here… I have spoken to him and from what I know, in the end he will not leave.”
In my opinion, Napoli would find it extremely difficult to turn down an offer in the region of £25 million – you can see the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea offering this almost immediately and beating us to his signature. That said, if Arsenal and Napoli were somehow able to agree a fee later on in the summer, then Hamsik would be a near-perfect signing for the club. His stats over the last few seasons (47 goals and 21 assists in 168 games) show that he creates many goal-scoring opportunities and it is also worth noting that he has a good injury record – which is something that cannot be said for many of the current Arsenal players.
The 29 year old is the third most expensive goalkeeper in the world, having transferred to Sunderland in 2007 for a fee believed to be around £7 million plus £3 million in add-ons. After Buffon and Peruzzi, this puts Gordon as number three in the all-time rankings for a goalkeeper transfer fee.
However, the promising keeper has not always lived up to expectation. He has thrice been displaced as number one, and injuries have also cost him dear. In four seasons at Sunderland, Gordon has averaged fewer than 22 Premier League games per season. We do not need another injury and error prone goalkeeper on our hands.
In April 2011, Gordon was ruled out of action for up to 6 months. This would mean that if he did make a move, he would probably be unable to play for his new club for a while. He has had injuries to his arm and to his knee, which have affected him on multiple occassions.
Sunderland have recently signed a new keeper, which means it is increasingly likely that they will want to offload one of their current shot stoppers. Mignolet has deputised for Gordon to great effect, which indicates that the Scottish international may be on his way out of the club.
Gordon has only one year left on his contract, so negotiating power will be weak. It is speculated that he will be allowed to leave for around £4 million. However, Wenger supposedly didn’t sign Schwarzer because Fulham were asking for very slightly higher than the £2 million that Arsenal offered. Perhaps Wenger feels that he shouldn’t over-pay for keepers, in which case this potential deal for Gordon will be even less likely.
With Szczesny and Fabianski having both had decent seasons under their belts, I doubt that Wenger will be searching for a new keeper. If he were to do so, I would imagine that Arsene would be looking for a cheap and experienced keeper who can pass on his knowledge to our young Poles. An expensive 29 year old from Sunderland doesn’t seem so probable.
As we have previously revealed, Arsenal have been hot on the trail of Ricky Alvarez, a talented Argentinian midfielder. It has been known for some time that Ricky will sign for either Inter Milan or Arsenal, but Ricky’s Tweet regarding his wishes to come to the Emirates made it quite clear which way the transfer will swing.
However, Palermo were also interested in signing the youngster, but the club was a far less attractive option than either Inter or Arsenal. Palermo’s President, Maurizio Zamparini has indicated that Alvarez may make the move to Milan:
“We were close to signing Alvarez for half the price they will now pay for him but my colleagues took it easy and no agreement was reached.
“Where he will go? He was going to sign for Arsenal but Inter Milan made a move and that is where I believe he will go.”
This is perhaps just another example of Wenger acting too slowly in the transfer market. The rumours regarding Alvarez have been circulating for weeks, whereas the Clichy to City transfer seemed to go through quite quickly. Granted, Arsene wants to get good value for money, but sometimes that has led to Arsenal missing out on players, such as Mark Schwarzer.
Then again, we at Straight Talking Gooners still believe that Ricky will be a Gooner next season. We have good reason to believe that the Arsenal deal is already close to completion.
The newest Arsenal transfer rumour to come to the forefront of the news is that Man City have bid £7 million for Gael Clichy. A great servant for the Arsenal, Gael has one year left on his contract. Should we refuse to sell the Frenchman, he will be allowed to agree a deal with another club as early as January 2012.
Photo from Ronnie Macdonald on Flickr
City’s current left back is Kolarov, who cost them £16 million. However, he has struggled to fit into their team.
Mancini supposedly sees Clichy as a perfect replacement. And why not? He has already taken three ex-Gooners in Vieira, Toure and Adebayor.
It seems that Wenger may not be adverse to losing Clichy when the losses of Cesc and Nasri are potentially very likely. If Wenger were to lose our French defender but keep our midfield duo, then he will probably be glad with the way the summer has gone so far.
Clichy has been at the club since 2003 and has played 264 games for the club, averaging over 41 games per season for the last five. However, with only two goals and ten assists in his Arsenal career, some may say that our attacking left back should have been more effective in the final third.
If we were to lose Clichy to such close rivals, it would be a massive shame. But I think I’d prefer to get £7 million for our left back rather than see him walk out on a free next summer. Should we hold out for another bid from a foreign club? I hope that Wenger does so – selling Gael to Italy or Spain would be a much smarter move, even if the transfer fee is lower.
Likeliness Rating (Clichy to City) : 4/5
However, the most interesting transfer development in the last few days is not about Clichy, Alvarez, Gervinho, Samba, Fabregas or Nasri. It is, in fact, the potential replacement for Clichy. Apparently, Wenger is set to bid for Manchester Utd’s John O’shea.
Before you close this web page in anger, let me inform you that I also think that this is a ridiculous rumour. The last time Wenger bought an over-30 squad player from Man Utd, it was Silvestre. He played 43 times for Arsenal, and was probably worse than Squillaci, Senderos or Cygan. Okay, maybe not Cygan, but certainly the other two.
O’shea is 30, like Silvestre was when we bought him in 2008. O’shea has played 392 matches for Man Utd, but he is no longer a key player in Sir Alex’s side. If Wenger is considering this transfer, which is about as likely as Arsenal receiving £50 million for Denilson, then I can see his logic to some extent. O’shea is experienced and versatile. He would provide good defensive cover for injuries. However, he wouldn’t fit into our style of play – the ‘pass and move’ that Arsenal are so well known for. I hope that this transfer doesn’t go through!
All of you will remember 19th May. That was the dreaded day that Neves Denilson revealed that he had handed in a transfer request, making it clear that he will almost certainly be leaving Arsenal this summer (providing that we can find a club that actually wants him). Denilson had a torrid season and has clearly decided that now is the right time to move on:
“I made up my mind eight months ago. But I haven’t said anything because I did not want to disrupt the team during the season.
“I’ve simply been to see Arsene Wenger and told him how I felt and he’s agreed to let me go.”
6 weeks on and his agent, Santiago Gerardo, has told the media that there have been no offers so far. Not a single club has even made an inquiry… And there was I thinking that there would be a throng of top European clubs willing to throw ridiculous amounts of money at us in order to sign our fantastically average Brazilian midfielder. If Fernando Torres is worth £50 million, then Denilson is worth at least a packet of Rich Tea biscuits (£1.39 each, or 3 Denilson’s for £3).
“I don’t know anything about Milan, at the moment they are rumours… The only certainty is that if nothing happens in the coming days, Denilson will join Arsenal for pre-season on July 7.
“Spanish and Italian clubs? At the moment there are no talks. I usually speak with Wenger about certain things, but we have not spoken about Denilson.”
Photo by Ronmac on Flickr
In my opinion, Denilson is extremely underrated. He has a spectacular ability to pass sideways or backwards (although admittedly his forward passing could do with a big of work) and his stats this season [shown above] speak for themselves. What more could we ask for? He is clearly one of the best midfielders in the world, although I understand why Wenger is letting him go. A player of his standard can only be held back from a move to Real Madrid/Barcelona for so long.
Joking aside, Denilson is to football what Mel Gibson is to acting – he started his career with a lot of promise and some decent performances, but a few years on and nobody wants to work with him. Until recently I never actually thought that Brazil could produce somebody who was that rubbish at football; I still can’t believe that he was captain of their U17 team.
There is an old saying that ”the two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it” and to some extent the same could be said of Denilson. However, when you want to get rid of your boat I would imagine that many loose fisted people can be easily convinced to buy it off you. Unfortunately, this is not true of our young Brazilian.
Some of my extensive research revealed that in the 2008-09 season, Denilson touched the ball more times than any other Premier League player. This is one stat that I fail to comprehend. It’s as if all of our other players kept passing to him and saying “you’re one of our best players. Do something!”, but were surprised when nothing happened. Arsène Wenger was then quick to use this stat as a way of justifying his support in Neves.
“If you look at the numbers and the amount of balls he wins, he is one of the top midfield players in the country on many indexes.” Arsene Wenger, February 2009
“The Gunners have offered the club Denilson in exchange for Douglas but Shakhtar said no.
“They are not interested in Denilson and would want only money.” – Well there’s a big surprise!
What now for Neves? I honestly have no idea. Just when you thought he might actually leave, things take a turn for the worst. Maybe I am being a bit harsh? Doubtful. It’s 1am now – I might feel differently after a good nights sleep.
Transfer news from Arsenal has been relatively slow over the last few days. It seems that we are just being linked with the same players (Gervinho, Alvarez, etc…) over and over again, but nothing has yet been confirmed. Everything remains pure speculation as we near the opening day of the transfer window. Apparently Friday 1st July will be a big day for the club, although I am yet to be convinced. There is, however, one player I would like to talk about this morning:
According to reports in Bild (a German newspaper), Arsene Wenger has identified Bayer Leverkusen’s Arturo Vidal as a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas/Samir Nasri. Vidal (a Chilean international) has a contract which keeps him at the club until 2012, but it is thought that an offer in the region of €15 million (£13.3m) would be enough to tempt Leverkusen to let him leave.
Vidal has also been linked with Bayern Munich, but (in the same way that Arsène Wenger refuses to sell Samir Nasri to another Premier League club) Leverkusen are refusing to let him move to another Bundesliga side. Despite reports that Napoli are interested, AC Milan remain the only club to have made an official bid. However, their offer of €10m (£8.8m) was quickly rejected.
As a result of the increasing speculation, and the bid from Milan, Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller told the Rheinische Post that the club would only sell Vidal for the right price:
“To agree a deal for Arturo Vidal we would expect to receive an extraordinary bid. We have not received a suitable offer as yet. There is nothing like that on the table.
“Taking that into account, we expect Arturo Vidal to remain at the club for the upcoming season.”
Vidal made 35 appearances for Bayern last season, scoring 11 goals and making 12 assists. 10 league goals made him the club’s top goalscorer as they came 2nd in the Bundesliga, ahead of Bayern Munich (who were Champions League finalists 2 years ago). These stats are pretty impressive, but there seem to be other midfielders that we are much closer to signing and, in my opinion, this one looks like a long-shot.
It seems increasingly likely that Alvarez and Gervinho are set to join Jenkinson in Arsenal’s squad for next season, as reports are circulating that the two players will sign for around £10-12 million each.
The Samba saga is still ongoing, with the news that Blackburn will have to pay 15% of any transfer fee to the defender’s previous club, Hertha Berlin. Any transfer is likely to be in the region of £11-12 million.
News on Benzema and Falcao is falling away, it seems that both rumours were never really anything more than rumours! I’d guess that both names were created in a media frenzy of ‘who do Arsenal need.’
It seems that Denilson and Bendtner are already on their way out of the club. Shakhtar are supposedly on Denilson’s radar. The big Dane has recently ruled out a move to Zenit, saying that he wouldn’t want to move to the Russian league. Apparently, big European clubs including Bayern Munich are aiming to sign Bendtner, but I don’t see it myself.
Clichy, Nasri and Fabregas are on the ‘maybe’ list. Gael has been linked with Roma and Liverpool. Nasri has been repeatedly linked with Utd, and rumours are surfacing that Sir Alex is set to bid somewhere in the region of £20 million. Obviously, Fabregas will be linked with Barcelona for the rest of the summer. Some reports indicate that Cesc would consider paying £5 million in order to force Arsenal to let him leave.