Since May Arsenal have inquired after a whole host of players. This may have been the result of the mistakes that were made last summer where we had a few stone wall targets – when we failed to bring them in we were left reliant on youth or forced into a panic buy. One of these was Sebastian Squillaci. He was well down the lists of center-backs Arsene Wenger wanted, he played like it too, consistently left high and dry with our high defensive line.
Both Cahill and Samba have been targeted this summer along with Phil Jones. Personally I feel that Arsene wanted to give him another year at Blackburn and felt he had to act quickly after realising that was never going to happen. The sum of money offered would have been a new transfer record for Arsenal. Before this, Arsenal had already spoken to Blackburn about Samba – a fee was agreed in principle, £9m rising with add-on’s. An issue arose – I guess it was due to clauses Blackburn agreed to when they signed the player about a percentage of the fee being paid to his previous club – their owners are so naive when it comes to football, they don’t have a clue. Samba still wants the move and Arsenal, rightly, won’t pay above what they offered. I get the feeling later in the summer some sort of compromise will be agreed though.
Arsenal are moving for Cahill though, the suggestion is at least one player will move in the opposite direction. Personally, I would like to see Vela go there for a season on loan, maybe with Lansbury too. I would rather take straight cash for Nicklas Bendtner or keep him – he can be a valuable asset to the club, despite what some sections of the support think.
The fee will be a sizable one but there is money in the bank, it would be a step in the right direction but the defensive problem is one one strictly reduced to the personnel on offer. It runs deeper and that must be sorted when the players report back next week for pre-season training.
A fair amount of time ago Arsene Wenger hinted at the ideal number of center-backs he likes in a squad.. last season we were still one short of that number – it is more than possible that we will see another defender arrive along with Cahill. We will probably have a look at the free agents on offer but it would not be at all surprising to see Samba arrive as I said earlier. Somebody like Bendtner could majorly pad out a deal like that, and Blackburn would have the funds to pay his hefty wages. Could his pride take that, I wonder?
Another, more exotic name, that has been linked with us closely recently is that of Ricky Alvarez. He is a player that nobody really knows much about – some self styled South American football pundits tend to think he is the real deal. If he is then that is great, it could well be the case that he takes up the squad position of somebody like Tomas Rosicky who I don’t expect to be an Arsenal player next season.
Various media sources have the deal at an advanced stage – some claim he has already signed. Apparently we are prepared to meet the fee demanded (from what I am told) and with the player seemingly delighted at the prospect of being an Arsenal player I can’t imagine anything holding it up. Transfers are complicated things though – lets see what occurs.
And Gervinho… did he have a medical yesterday – didn’t he have a medical yesterday? I was told at about 9am yesterday that a player was at Colney for a medical. Many mentioned Gervinho’s name as talk of that spread throughout the day – the suggestion is though that it may even have been Cahill at the training ground. The Gervinho deal is all but done though, it will be announced in due course.
A lot of people in the media – and in the blogosphere – have born the brunt of a lot of frustration at people who are privileged enough to have information that is not readily available. There are bad eggs out there, there are also genuine people. When I pass on information I do so in good faith – in other words I don’t make it up, what would I gain out of it? Website hits? Do me a favour. Why would I put my Samba news on Twitter about 24 hours before writing it up? In football things change rapidly – information can be outdated very quickly. A little understanding would make the online football world a lot more pleasant.
Anyway, that is my say over. I have just written this before a 5am start so I hope it made sense..