Sunday, 22 August 2010

Is the Arsenal move for Schwarzer off? Clichy targeted by Spanish giants, Ciani or Squillaci?

Morning Gooners.

We'll start this the blog this morning like we always seem to at the moment talking transfers and in particular within the goalkeeping department.

Mark Schwarzer has been forever linked with a move to Arsenal. Fulham have confirmed we've had two bids turned down for him, so does our interested end there, without signing the Australian and moving on to another target?

It would appears some might think so. Especially if this morning's edition of the People is to believed.

It's a four paragraph story, so if they did have the inside scoop on this one I think they would go big with it.

But the story does give an insight as to why Arsenal went back and offered Fulham the same £2million as they did in May.

They quote Arsene Wenger as saying:
"We will never force anybody to sell a player. If we make an offer, the club says yes or no. It may not be enough, but when another regime comes in, you make an offer that is the same."
The other reason I would add to submitting the same offer is because Schwarzer hadn't put in a transfer request in May when our first  bid was made. Maybe that would have made a difference to Fulham.

Anyway the People seem to be the only ones who are going with the line that we're moving our interest elsewhere.

The Daily Star Sunday says quite the opposite in fact. They report we are going to "step up" our chase for the Fulham goalkeeper and hand the Cottagers exactly what they want. £4million in cold hard cash.

I think there will be a compromise here somewhere. I can't see us paying out £4million for a 37-year-old goalkeeper who has two years on his contract remaining. Perhaps a player on loan for the season plus a little more than £2million may do.

One player who understands why Schwarzer wants to join Arsenal is his team mate Aaron Hughes.

He told the Sunday Express:
"It's a great opportunity for him [Schwarzer]. It's not often you get the chance to go and play for one of the top four teams in the country, especially when you're down to the last few years of your career. 
"You can understand why Arsenal want to take him and why it's important for him. If he went we'd miss him, but we wish him well. It's a fantastic opportunity."
Whatever happens, don't expect to see Shay Given pulling on an Arsenal shirt anytime soon if the Sunday Mirror are to be believed. It seems that Roberto Mancini has changed his mind about allowing the Irish keeper to leave Eastlands after all and may only consider a move in January.

It makes sense that City want to keep him. You can see what a pickle they got themselves into with goalkeepers at the end of last season, so no doubt they are considering their options cautiously.

In other transfer gossip, we've been linked with another Bordeaux player, this time defender Michael Ciani.

The News of The World say we're interested in the 26-year-old Frenchman if our deal for Sevilla's Sebastien Squillaci falls through. 

He's a 6ft 2ins centre-half who has played in the Champions League and has three years left on his contract. 

I believe that Squillaci is our first choice and rumours of a fee being agreed for the player are so far unsubstantiated.

Two pieces of transfer tittle tattle. The first relates to left-back Gael Clichy. 

The People report that Real Madrid are interested in signing the Frenchman. I can't see it myself, not this season anyway.

Until Kieran Gibbs can oust Clichy as first choice, I don't think Wenger will listen to offers for him.

Whilst the second links us with 20-year-old forward Emmanuel Riviere. The News of The World say the St Etienne youngster is "desperate" to sign for Arsenal. There is some tenuous link to Thierry Henry's mother's homeland Martinique and the fact that Riviere's idol is Henry.

If we want him we will be lining up alongside Lyon, Marseille and Juventus for the £5million-rated youngster.

Elsewhere Paul Scholes says he likes criticism, in a story which again has a tenuous link to what Arsene Wenger said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. However Scholes doesn't mention Wenger at all. So I get the feeling either he was asked without knowing what Wenger said or doesn't care about what our manager said.

Finally for this morning, Paul Hayward writes in The Observer about how William Gallas' move to Tottenham is different to Sol Campbell moving the other way. 

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