Ricardo Alvarez signed! Gervinho not far Behind!?

June 25, 2011

A month ago I did a post in which I said that we may have made our first signing of this transfer window in the shape of Ricardo Alvarez from Velez Sarsfield. The story was first reported by Fox Sports and it took me by surprise because I had never even heard his name. The report said that we had agreed a pre-contract with the player and he would move to Arsenal after his contract expires at Sarsfield at the end of their campaign.  A 23-year-old, left footed attacking midfielder whose pace and ability to play as a second striker stood out and interested me. However, I didn’t take it seriously as there was a confusion related with the name Arsenal (apparently there is a team called Arsenal de Sarandi in Argentina) and I never followed up the story.

The Fox Sports’ story was followed up a couple of days later by many others as it became evident it was us, Arsenal of England that were interested and not the Arsenal club that plays in Argentine Primera División.

With time, however, Alvarez was forgotten as Gervinho, Cahill, Samba and Hazard’s names started circulating around, whom we were targeting. And as these targets were nearer to us, we all took interest in them. Somewhere in between, we did get to see the name of Alvarez.

A month later, now, when it has gone quiet on all other major fronts for us, Ricardo Alvarez’s name springs up again and this time I feel it is a confirmation of the initial agreement that Fox Sports reported.

On Friday, the blogosphere was full of reports that we have actually signed him after apparently Palermo’s President, Maurizio Zamparini, let it slip in an interview with Naples Radio Kiss Kiss that we have acquired his services. His Interview was reported in Tuttosport

“We did have a concrete bid for Alvarez and had him in our grasp back in January. Unfortunately, we didn’t complete the move in time, so we lost him to Arsenal. At this moment he has already signed for the Gunners.”

However, with Corriere, he used the words that ‘Arsenal is interested’.

The question is what to believe or what not to after this as this puts a big question mark on Zamparini’s reliability. Although, I am certain that we may have actually secured his signing behind closed doors. The reason being, we do like our transfer dealings to be hidden these days because as soon we show interest in a player, other clubs hijack that deal. The end result is the price increases exponentially and we lose the target. Also we need a midfielder-cum-winger and a striker and Alvarez fulfills all the requirements. So, Wenger may have spent the asked price on such a talent.

I also believe that Zamparini, being interested in Alvarez, may have approached Sarsfield only to find out that he has been sold to us and in the resulting frustration may have spilled the beans in front of the media.

This brings me onto the situation regarding Gervinho. He was supposed to sign for us by the end of last week or start of this one according to reports. Ever since those reports, it‘s been quiet. Frustration is mounting among the fans. I have a feeling though, that Gervinho’s situation is similar to Alvarez’s. I believe that we have agreed the terms and only waiting for a date to officially announce his signing.

Reports, by the way, have already started coming out that Lille have rejected our bid for Gervinho! Don’t believe them!

Hopefully, when the transfer window opens on 1st of July, we will be announcing both the signings of Alvarez and Gervinho in addition to some others!

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Barcelona offers Lionel Messi in addition to £27 million for Fabregas!

June 24, 2011

Well the thing that we all were anticipating has come to pass. Barcelona has made their first bid for Fabregas according to The Sun. This morning, The Sun is reporting that Barcelona have made an initial offer for Fabregas worth only £27 million, Which of course was rejected by us. They also say that Barca is willing to go to £30 million (like we care!). This bid comes in after Sandro Rosell, Barca’s President, said that Barcelona don’t have the money to purchase Fabregas and will be bidding less than they did the last time.

However, everyone has missed the real breaking news! Barcelona is also willing to offer Lionel Messi in addition to the £27 million. Lionel Messi, according to Barcelona, isn’t the player he was due to wear and tear in the last season and Barcelona appears now to cash in on him before his value further drops. Despite the offer, Arsenal is reluctant to sell Fabregas as there is no use in buying a devalued product, which has left Barcelona dumbstruck!

Jokes aside, in all this I am really getting frustrated with Fabregas’ stance. I know he hasn’t directly requested a move but all his statements have been ambiguous. If he wants to really move, he should man up, put up a request and go. If not, say it loudly that he doesn’t want to go to Barca till at least his contract is not over. And after such disgrace, no sane man will want to go to Barcelona!

And as far as Arsenal is concerned, if we rejected a bid last time, how are we going to agree to something less this time? Are they f***ing mental or are we a club who can be toyed around with and humiliated along with the players.  They are even humiliating themselves but you can expect that from Barca. If a certain nobody is valued at £40 million, a certain striker can go for £50 million and one for £35 million, where is the justice in offering £27 million for one of the world’s best midfielders? If you don’t have the money, forget about him. Buy something that you can. This is the basic rule of buying. Geez! Barcelona can play the best football but can’t understand this simple thing!


We need more players like Emmanuel Frimpong, Chris Samba wants to take the next step, Carlos Vela is staying at Arsenal!

June 24, 2011

These past few days have been really boring with nothing new happening. And in all the boredom, Samba’s signing has gone from being interesting to done to a matter of want-to and don’t-want-to and we are still where we were when we played the last game of the season. It now seems that Blackburn is not willing to sell their backdone. Blackburn’s manager, Steve Kean, has been quoted as saying, in regard to Samba’s possible departure

“We don’t have to sell him. He signed a five-year contract in the last window and he’s one of the players we would like to keep… we are going to try and hold on to all our good players.”

Well it was surely going to happen. On the other hand, Samba himself has come out said that he is ready to take the next step and hopes that Blackburn won’t “put a stick in the wheels”.

“I know there are discussions with some clubs. If a good opportunity arises, I want to seize it. It is necessary that the club understands that I want to go one step further. I hope they will not put a stick in the wheels. It’s been four and a half years I have been at Blackburn and two years I have played in relegation battles.”

This does sound similar to our own situation of Fabregas to Barca, the only difference in that Fabregas hasn’t publically said that he wants to move away (or has he?). Now I can’t tell what will happen in this case but one thing is for sure that if we really are moving in for him then we will be required to pay a hefty price. Is Wenger willing to pay such a price? This is a question that can be answered by Arsene alone, although, I myself am convinced that this summer he will. When remains to be seen!

By the way, the thing that made me laugh was when I read the same story that has been out there for the last two years, ‘Arsenal moving in for Phil Jagielka’. Seriously, do the people who right such stories don’t think for an instant what they are writing. One moment we are after Samba, Jagielka isn’t even mentioned, the next, as soon as Blackburn says we won’t sell him, we are after Jagielka. It is one thing to speculate and another to just put up the same story that has been read over and over again. They must really believe that people don’t think! 

Anyways moving on, the latest development on Clichy is that he wants a move to Liverpool despite an offer from Roma that includes £30 million wages for 5 years according to The Sun. Is Liverpool offering more in wages or Clichy doesn’t want to play European football next season? Sounds quite ridiculous to me but if this report is true then Clichy will have his reasons.

The only new development is in regards to Carlos Vela. His agent is saying that Vela is going to stay at Arsenal as he is very much in Wenger’s plans. His agent, Eduardo Hernandez has told ESPN Radioformula in Mexico

“I have had eight conversations with Arsenal, the most recent was last Friday, and Carlos is an Arsenal player, he will stay at Arsenal and is not for sale. The process with Carlos is a little bit slow. Arsene Wenger is an extremely demanding coach, he sent him on loan for six months to West Brom not with the results he wanted, but, nevertheless, everything is going very well.”

We have seen very little of Vela at Arsenal and I believe it has been unfair on him. He himself hasn’t been able to grab the opportunities and make his mark.  But that also is our own fault as we have been playing him out of position. His finishing is good, can improve, still the main problem is that we cannot get the best out of him by playing him wide. That is why I think the best option for him will be to move away from Arsenal or go on loan for a whole season. We do need a striker though and Vela is not the solution for next season. It is all my opinion though and we can’t really say what Wenger has in his mind.

Before I conclude, I would like to share what Emmanuel Frimpong has said on twitter about being ever shown the door at Arsenal

“Arsenal FC is pumping through my veins. I will never leave Arsenal even if I get released I will beg on both knees to stay they’re going to have to escort me [out].”

If only we can have the same attitude from all our players!


It is quiet out there, Fabregas might stay after all, Clichy gone? Fixtures shouldn’t be a concern!

June 22, 2011

When I had last posted on my blog we were close in on Gervinho, Cahill, and Samba.  A week later, a week into my vacations, we are still nowhere (or somewhere that only Arsenal can tell). Many have reported that they are done deals and I am hoping this really is the case but the silence from the Emirates is deafening. I have been waiting for an official Statement but nothing has come out yet. Do they want to give us a surprise? Or are they waiting for 1st of July? I do hope it is a good surprise.

Even the tabloids have gotten bored with the stories and now many have started asking questions. I believe in one thing though that if we have reached an agreement on the above players than there can be no stopping them in moving here. If, however, it was all speculation, we can forget them. Expect to see only Gervinho arrive as he is from the French League. While keep everything crossed for Samba and Cahill as their value has gone up and Man City and Tottenham are all also getting involved. And with 8 days to 1st of July, a lot can happen as within football things change within a day.

By the way, what were they thinking when they linked us to Barton, Odemwinge and Taarabt. Eto sounds interesting but I know it will never happen.

Coming to other matters, there has been a positive development for us in the case of Fabregas. Sandro Rosell’s, Barcelona president, comment regarding Fabregas’ value going down clearly speaks that they don’t regard him much and won’t go all out to buy him. Sandro Rosell said

“What is the limit for signing him? We’ll need to see. First we need to know what his salary is and what are his conditions. Everything is in relation to the salary and the transfer fee but, if last year we offered 40 million [euros], a year has passed, it is clear that this year his value is less. Since then there has been wear and tear and now he’s worth less. In the case that we were interested our offer would be reasonable. We would not go overboard.”

And added

“I don’t think he will go to another Spanish club. Cesc is of Barça, and if I were the president of another club I wouldn’t sign a player who holds dear the colours of another team.”

It also seems that they want Fabregas to put in a transfer request so that he can be acquired for less money. Well Mr Sandro, you can forget about Fabregas for now and forever for one, you don’t have the money and two, Fabregas is happy here and he won’t give in a transfer request. And after your comment no sane man will as you don’t appreciate his quality. I hope Fabregas does realize that Barcelona don’t want him and that the best thing to do now would be forget about Barca and play like a true leader for Arsenal and guide us to trophies. And in return Rosell will get to know the true value of Fabregas.

There has also been progress on Clichy’s situation with Roma showing interest in him. The value that is being quoted is £7-8 million. Although this is better than what Liverpool were offering but still in my view it is less. And I am astonished that the value of our players is so less considering a certain striker went for £35 million who isn’t better than Bendtner IMO.

The replacement for Clichy is a bigger concern though. Gibbs is in no man’s land, Traore is not better than Clichy, Enrique, with whom we are being linked, seems fine, Leighton Baines might do well. The rest is up to Wenger as to who he has in his mind. Else force Clichy to extend his contract as I have been saying all along.

Nasri’s situation has also gone quiet. And I still haven’t figured out what the real issue is. Is it money or trophies or is it his position? A month has passed since we played our last game of the season and still we haven’t sorted out one of our best player’s issue. And I can’t help it but ask what the hell are the people at Arsenal doing? We haven’t bought anyone! we haven’t been able to sell anyone! what really are we doing? Maybe I am getting impatient but seriously by now a decision on Nasri’s contract should have been taken!

Meanwhile, the fixtures have also been released for Arsenal for the next season and I had a smile when I went through the list. I was smiling because we have all the difficult fixtures in the first half of the season. No doubt the month of August is difficult but we always have a good start to a season and I am hoping we will be having another good start. However, it is a long way to go and  it shouldn’t be a concern as a season doesn’t depend on the fixtures, it depends on how you play. Before that we need to address the issue of our players and our team. Just over three weeks to our first game of pre-season before which we need to sign players so that they can gel-in and adjust with our style.

Before I end, WTTGT is reporting that Clichy has been sold to Paris St. Germain for £10 million. This seems bizarre to me. For now we can only wait and see what happens in the next couple of days. Have a good day!


Gazidis assures signing players, Arsenal to have talks over Gervinho, Arsene interested in Emmanuel Riviere

June 14, 2011

Just a quick update today as I am busy somewhere else. Yesterday, Ivan Gazidis had a question and answer session with the Arsenal Shareholders Trust. I haven’t yet seen the session due to not finding time so can’t really comment on what happened. Ivan did, however, assure the fans that Arsenal will be making new signings this summer and a few of the current squad will also be asked to leave.

He was off the opinion that despite a massive disappointment the season cannot be seen as a disaster.

“Coming off the end of the season, I share with you a sense of profound disappointment. We had a season that promised a great deal and looked like it could turn into a very special one but in the end a familiar story began to tell itself. I understand the feelings that we all felt.

It is very clear we had some shortcomings and in this close season we are going to see some turnover of players. Some new signings will be coming in and some of our existing squad will be going out. As Arsène has said, it will be a busy close season for the Club.

But also it is important to recognize that it has not been a disaster. We have a young squad and we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The trick will be identify which parts to keep and which parts to turnover. And we will do that within our financial capabilities.”

I don’t want to sound negative but if finishing fourth in a two-horse title race isn’t disaster than I am afraid Ivan has lost me. It might have been disappointing if it was happening for the first time but to happen for four years consecutively is quite worrying. I will be discussing more of this after I have seen the whole session. For now, I am grateful that Ivan considers buying and indeed selling a few players, hopefully not to include Nasri and Fabregas.

In other news, Lille’s general manager Frederic Paquet has confirmed that they will be holding talks with Arsenal for a possible transfer of Gervinho. The general manger said

“He [Gervinho] wants to go and has developed contacts with Arsenal. We will soon have talks with them and see what they offer. He has expressed a desire to go to England and we will see what happens.”

With news coming out on daily basis related to Gervinho, it seems that we really are interested in him. let’s hope the talks are fruitful.

There is also talk of Arsene’s interest in Saint-Etienne striker Emmanuel Riviere. He has been compared to Thierry Henry and is valued at around £4.5 million. In the player’s own words

“I am flattered to be linked with the clubs mentioned. I am a young player, so to be linked with Arsenal is fantastic for me. If Arsene Wenger is interested in you it means you have potential to be a very good player. People compare me to Thierry Henry and that is a big compliment. If I can achieve half of his career I will be happy.”

With Bendtner on the verge of leaving, we do need to sign a striker this summer. Who will we get can only be answered by Wenger.

Today there were also reports that revealed Tottenham as the possible challengers to us in acquiring Christopher Samba. Blackburn themselves will do their best to keep Samba but my gut feeling is that if Wenger truly moves for him, we will get him this summer.

The biggest surprise of the day for me, however, was the news of a possible swap deal between Chelsea and Tottenham involving Drogba and Modric. My initial reaction to this was WTF! As for the rest, we will find out in the coming weeks.

By the way the media has already started speculating who will be the team to replace us in the top four next season. At the moment many are favoring Liverpool. Don’t the media love writing us off? Although I can’t say anything about titles at the moment, I am sure we will finish in the top four.

Have a good time!!


Goodbye Nicklas Bendtner and welcome Eden Hazard!

June 13, 2011

Nicklas Bendtner made it clear at the start of this month that he wants to leave Arsenal hundred percent. It now seems that he may have his wish as Besiktas have made an approach for him. It is being reported that Besiktas will be making a 10 million offer for the Danish front man this week.

However, Inter Milan is also in the mix, as they have shown interest in him. If both the clubs are involved, we may after all get a good price for the Dane. What then matters is where Bendtner wants to go and hopefully he will decide very soon. Personally I feel that 10 million is a great deal. At least we will get the money for buying Samba. And with him gone we may get room for signing a striker who is in-league with Robin van Persie.

In other news, we have stepped up our pursuit of Lille’s young winger, Eden Hazard and there are reports that we are going to bid for him this week.

With everyone having their eyes on Nasri’s situation, it’s about time we secured one of our long term targets before other clubs seize him. Eden hazard, widely recognized as the one of the best young talents is in sight of many clubs which now also includes Barcelona.

At Arsenal, many see him currently as a possible replacement for Nasri, if he decides to leave. However, I would want him to come to Arsenal even if Nasri stays.  The question that remains is will Arsene Wenger offer the £25-30 million price set on him? I guess that Wenger will this time because you rarely find talents like him. Below is an excerpt from an article written in The National about him.

His is the kind of pace which terrifies: quick changes of direction, instant acceleration, continuous movement. Coupled with the athletic gifts is a sublime technique. Hazard has the kind of ball control which cannot be taught, the type you see in video games, ball stuck to his foot. His passing is accurate, his vision is improving. What’s more, he is unselfish. So sound are his fundamentals that he will often pass up a shot to find a better placed teammate, a legacy of what he was taught as a child.

After reading the above, tell me if he wouldn’t fit at Arsenal!?

Have your say in the comments!


Wenger confident that Nasri and Fabregas will stay, Gervinho gives his word to join Arsenal, Alisher Usmanov talks

June 13, 2011

Till yesterday I had the impression that it was only Man City who could hijack transfer deals by splashing cash. It appears now that Liverpool has also learnt the art. Liverpool this summer is in the mix of everything. They for sure are looking to strengthen their squad and are rumored to be after many players. After signing Jordan Henderson from Sunderland for a hefty price, one thing looks certain that they are ready to spend some money.

I felt joy when I read that Liverpool have blown away Phil Jones deal with Man United into smithereens. Daily mail has reported that Liverpool have offered £22 million for his services as they also revealed that Blackburn owners will be trying their best to keep Jones. Worrying news for Ferguson!

However, the thing that has worried me is that Liverpool has also upped their pursuit for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There are reports that Liverpool has matched our bid for him. If what the reports proclaim is true than we are losing our target faster than saying NO! Still I don’t believe this. If it comes to making a choice, I am certain that Chamberlain will pick us.

On the other hand, Bayern Munich has also joined Man United to sign Nasri. Money isn’t a problem for them but it remains to be seen whether Nasri really will leave Arsenal. With talks set to take place between Nasri and Arsenal this week, the Daily Mirror reported yesterday that Arsene Wenger seems to be confident in making him stay.  

In The Sun today, Arsene Wenger is quoted as saying:

“We will do everything to keep Nasri at the club. My wish is that he stays here. If he looks back he can see that he’s come quite a long way with us, and I think there is still a bit to do. It’s the club that makes the player’s career.”

Doesn’t it sound like ‘if you leave you won’t succeed elsewhere’? Still one thing is sure that Wenger will do his best to make him stay. As for reports surfacing yesterday about Nasri wanting £160,000 a week seem ridiculous to me. If it were a matter of money, Nasri would have gone to Man City or even Chelsea.

Wenger is also adamant that Fabregas is going nowhere. About Fabregas, The Sun has quoted him saying:

“I will be pretty clear about this. For me, Fabregas is with Arsenal for a long time and he will stay with Arsenal. It sometimes happens that the rumour can make the transfer.”

He will have a hard time in keeping Fabregas. I have resigned to seeing him go. It will be an added boost if he stays though.

Meanwhile, Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second highest shareholder, is using the sentiments of the fans to make his way into the Arsenal board. He blames the current Arsenal board to be the reason for the club’s demise in recent years and calls for a change if he were to be on board. He labels the board as selfish as he mentions the increase in tickets price as unjust on the fans. You can find out what all he said to the News of the World here.

He does, however, know that we need a strong centre half, a strong defensive midfielder and Nasri and Fabregas to stay.

Elsewhere, French newspaper L’Equipe is reporting that Gervinho has given his word to join Arsenal and a deal will be signed by the end of this week. Haven’t find many sources on this so can’t confirm if it is true. Also there is news saying that Ignasi Miguel will be sent on loan to Bolton to help secure Cahill. Now that seems something interesting.

Let’s see what happens in the coming days. For now have a good day and enjoy the summer.