Friday, 27 May 2011

Hazard and Gervinho to sign? - Barca duo join - Colombian linked

Morning Gooners.

Let's start with some transfer rumours shall we? The Daily Mirror are linking us with a double swoop of Lille stars Eden Hazard and Gervinho. Two very good players who you'd expect would cost a considerable amount of money. Not so, according to the Mirror who prices Hazard at a very reasonable £12m. Whilst the Ivory Coast striker is set to make up his mind on where he'll play his football next season after playing for his national team but before he goes on holiday.

If Hazard was on his way for as little as £12m that would be a steal in my eyes. He's been a player who we've constantly been linked with and during the last season Wenger flirted with a possible move for Hazard when asked about him by French journalists in his pre-match press conference.

Personally I believe there will have to be movement out of the club before any such deal is put in motion. But there is a real possibility Hazard could be an Arsenal player next season, especially with Samir Nasri's contract situation at a stalemate. If Arsenal were to receive a decent offer for Andrey Arshavin, I think we'd look to move the Russian on. So playing Hazard on the left hand side of attack could be a possibility.

As for Gervinho, we're certainly interested in a striker. Is he our man? I'm not so sure. One thing Arsene Wenger will be aware of is the African Cup of Nations which takes place for six weeks in January 2012. Having already got a possible participant in Chamakh, would he want to lose two strikers to the tournament? Obviously that won't be the over riding consideration, but something the Frenchman will have to weigh up with the possible risks to van Persie and his injury record.

Two players definitely on their way to north London are Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin according to SkySports. The two 16-year-olds were offered contracts to continue their footballing education at Barcelona but rejected them after Arsenal came in for them. They won't be breaking into the first team next season, but two names to certainly look out for in the future.

And from the inspiring transfer news to the not so. The Daily Star have linked us with a move for Blackburn's Christopher Samba. There was interest in the player in January and had Rovers been able to get in a replacement we'd have signed him. I would have been unimpressed then. I'm even more unimpressed with our potential interest in him now.

We all know the January window is a tough one to make signings in. All the best players are cup tied or still playing in the Champions League. But now we're in the close season, I would expect Arsene Wenger to be looking at a whole raft of players, the very best in their positions. If we're looking at Samba just because he'll cost £7m less than Bolton's Gary Cahill then I would be disappointed. Surely if we're looking to buy a top class defender, price has not got to be an issue.

And talking of uninspiring possible signings, the Daily Mail again link us with Stewart Downing. No, no, no.

These two are certainly going into the "uninspiring signings never to have their names linked in connection with a move to Arsenal" file.

Whilst we're on pie in the sky deals, let's head over to The Guardian. A representative of Radamel Falcao has told them that Arsenal are prepared to pay the £25.9m buy out clause Porto have on the striker. Whilst it would be nice to have the Colombian striker in our squad, I think we'd be dreaming if we thought Arsene Wenger would spend that sort of money on one player.

And whilst we're on the subject of highly priced players - and certainly this one is worth his valuation - AC Milan have ruled themselves out of any auction for the signature of Cesc Fabregas. The Italian club say they won't be able to meet the £60m we value our captain at.

On the subject of Cesc, The Sun print a picture that would make any Gooner's blood boil of those two Spanish idiots who claim to be Fabregas' friends. Whilst I have no problem with Barcelona using London Colney, I do have a problem with them being disrespectful to our club. Following this incident I'm told they've been left in no uncertain terms that his sort of behaviour isn't welcomed or tolerated. Personally I would have chucked them out of the building and made them change on their coach.

The Sun say Arsenal want Henri Lansbury to commit to a new contract with the club, however the player wants to know what sort of involvement he'll have next season. I'd like Lansbury to stay. I think he could be a valuable squad player and does offer us something different to what we currently have. Can I see him playing every week? No. But he could get 20-30 games a season. And who knows, he may be able to force his way into the side.

Also in The Sun is a story linking contract rebel Gael Clichy with a move to Inter Milan. A move to Juventus was on the cards last summer, so Italy is certainly somewhere the Frenchman has considered playing.

The Daily Mail say we're set to miss out on Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao who is off to Spurs. Whilst The Sun say we're one of the clubs linked with Wigan midfielder James McCarthy - a player who is obviously looking for better terms on his contract.

Aaron Ramsey has been talking about how important next season will be for him and Arsenal. I always like hearing the Welshman speak. He's so level headed and seems to be a young man with an old man's head on him.

And finally for now, Stuart Pearce has opened his big mouth about Arsenal's use of Jack Wilshere this season. You can read his comments in The Guardian. It's what you'd expect him to say but to ask why Arsenal have used Wilshere so much is just stupid. We pay his wages. We can use him how Arsene Wenger sees best to.

If you fancy some extra reading for today head over to The Arsenal Column who blog about  ten conclusions to make about Arsenal's season. A very insightful read as always.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

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