Monday, 20 June 2011

Barca's deadline on Cesc deal - Samba movement mounts - Redknapp says Defoe a no-go

Morning Gooners.

A few things going on today but I hope that it's just a slow start to a busy week in terms of Arsenal transfer news.

It's 22 days before the Arsenal first team return to pre-season training and The Sun report that Barcelona have put a deadline of July 5 on the signing of Cesc Fabregas. They report the Catalan giants "don't want to allow the transfer of Fabregas to turn into another summer-long saga"... like it hasn't already been.

After yesterday's reports that Barca would send a delegation to London to try and complete a deal for the player with Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis, The Sun say President Sandro Rossell is thinking about bypassing the Arsenal hierarchy and going straight to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.

The Spaniards expect we'll accept a £40million deal for our captain.

I think we've all heard this sort of posturing before. There isn't much chance of a deal at the moment even if Arsenal had a moment of madness and decided to sell our captain as he's out of the country on holiday. But then if Barca thought they could do a deal for £40m, Ivan Gazidis would be mad to let that sale go through. If he thought the chanting at the end of the season was bad about the cost of season tickets increasing, he can expect worse if a derisory offer for Cesc is accepted.

Personally I would be surprised after our positioning last summer if we sold our captain now. Plus he must be getting sick and tired of being told by his Barca friends to come join them like it's as easy as booking a plane ticket. The fact that yet again he won't be Barca's first target - Alexi Sanchez is set to join this summer, David Villa was their first signing last summer - must really annoy him. If they wanted him that badly they'd stump up the cash Arsenal want and do the deal. Plus he must be extremely disappointed with Rosell after being told he's not the player he was, despite all the statistics showing he's Europe's best midfielder.

Anyway, I don't think we can expect this story to go away anytime soon.

In terms of Arsenal transfer business, I hope we'll conclude the deal for Gervinho this week, but that will be down to when he finishes his holiday.

The Christopher Samba situation is interesting. The Daily Mail report we'll have to pay more for him because Blackburn want a bigger slice of the action as they'll be force to pass on 15% of whatever we might pay to his former club Hertha Berlin. So a fee of £12million might be in order.

I think we should stump up the extra £5million and get Gary Cahill who is also two years younger than Samba.

Last night England under-21s crashed out of the European Championships. Despite Jack Wilshere not being there he still manages to get mentioned nine times by the national newspapers this morning, with The Times being the stand-out campaigner of his name.

Their man Peter Lansley said Pearce's 4-3-3 formation was crying out for Wilshere and had the 19-year-old not "wilted under the constant mithering of Arsène Wenger" the England manager's plans wouldn't have been under-minded.

It's lucky Wilshere wasn't there. As someone I follow on twitter rightly said, he'd have spent three games watching the ball sail over his head. An assumption which can be backed up through statistics.

Anyway, Henri Lansbury did himself no harm by replacing Jordan Henderson and changing the game.

There are a couple of transfer rumours worth mentioning. Harry Redknapp says he doesn't believe Jermain Defoe will join Arsenal. Stick a bet on that one to happen before the transfer window closes then.

And Mark Schwarzer could become available this summer after Fulham made an offer for Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, according to the Daily Mail.

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