its all started to pick up now the players and manager have returned from the pre-season tour of Austria – and the search for a defender seems to have taken a further step when yesterday, Arsenal offered £10.7 million for Werder Bremen defender and German international Per Mertesacker. There is no say on how the bid will be taken.. whether Bremen are open to a sale or against it. There is also interest from Milan in the player so any deal will have to be done pretty quickly.
He isn’t a bad player but I don’t quite see how he fits in with our defence – our strengths as a team expose his weaknesses, he isn’t fast or agile and I think there’s double decker buses with a smaller turning circle. But, he is an improvement on Johann Djourou (positive news on the injury front) and Laurent Koscielny – he is a hell of a tall dude who will certainly give us a bit extra when defending set pieces, and gives us a chance to become more of a threat at the other end too. The fact we are now actively in the market for players will encourage the fans who have been getting more and more disgruntled.. myself included. It looked as though there was a lack of ambition, a lack of willingness to spend the money available and with the cheats up at Middle Eastlands snapping up any player they see as half good in the weekly MATCH magazine nobody can compete. However, now their activity is coming to an end, the prices can deflate and proper (well, kind of) transfer prices can come back.
Interestingly, I have been told that we may well be seeking three players – with at least one arriving. It sounds silly but it is entirely possible, especially with Milan’s interest in Mertesacker. The back-up plan in the case of being snubbed by the big German is Everton’s Phil Jagielka…. there is still very much interest there on that front. The first bid was a disgrace at £6 million, but I doubt we would bid that much again if we were in a situation where we simply had to add to the defensive ranks. I have no idea who the third player may be.. be careful how you interpret what I say though, the may be a third player. It is by no means fact.
This is going to sound silly now, but the club have had two approaches for Thomas Rosicky this summer, and both clubs inquiring about him are tied up in these deals. Werder Bremen expressed an interest in doing business for Per Mertesacker, with a fee + Rosicky deal, and Everton also made an approach for him earlier on in the summer. Whatever the selling clubs want, I can’t see him being part of any deal, it would just cause more problems in another position.
There has been more stuff surrounding Cesc Fabregas circling around again, he apparently made these comments to a Spanish lifestyle magazine…
“I’m a Barca fan, I’m a club member, as is my grandfather, my uncle, my cousin… I have had the colours in my blood from a young age, I’m Catalan. “However, I’m the captain of Arsenal, I’m a ‘Gunner’, and I have become a player there and matured as a person. “He is a second father to me, the most important person in my life after my father. He has behaved really well with me and taken me in like a son. I am part of his family, he doesn’t want me to leave. And in my last conversation with him in London, it was one of the most difficult moments I have experienced. I ended up very upset.”
I’m fed up of this now. For what it is worth it looks like he is staying and I have no doubts at all that he loves Arsenal and is open to staying here. I think it might just be one of those situations like where you go on holiday, come back and are totally miserable because you didn’t want it to end. Most of his mates are Barca players, you can understand it. I just wish there was a little more clarity, and most definitely class on the Barca front. I maintain that they need some sort of punishment for the incessant tapping up.
Tomorrow Arsene Wenger will hold his pre-Emirates Cup press conference so all the news will be re-tweeted when it comes out here. Also there will be transfer updates on my Twitter too because I can’t be doing with writing a blog for every rumour or bit of info. There is a possibility we may see Johann Djourou play which is good news after he limped out of the game midweek. Hopefully his fitness record will gradually improve but it just shows how we can’t afford to rely on him, probably even as a third choice defender.
Its also looking likely that Cesc and Robin van Persie will be missing from the squad against Liverpool in the league opener.. more on that if it happens.