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!