Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Sold this week: Cesc/Nasri? - PHW responds - Gervinho flies in for talks

Morning Gooners.

It's never good to wake up and feel all doom and gloom straight away but that's certainly how I feel today. After reading the Daily Mirror's back page lead that Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri might be sold in the same week, I'm ready to concede any chance we have of winning a trophy next season.

The Mirror report that Barcelona have made a second bid for our captain - £34m - and Manchester United are looking at signing Nasri with a fee of £20m being talked about.

For me, if it's true we're selling both players in the same week, there would be serious upset in the ranks. I can already envisage protests outside the stadium. The atmosphere at the stadium for the Emirates Cup will be awful and it would send the completely wrong message that the club aren't building on last season but we'll face another year of rebuilding as the team try to gel together.

The one saving grace in the Mirror story is there are no quotes from club insiders and when you turn to the Daily Star to read Chairman Peter Hill-Wood's response to Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith's comments about sacking the board, David Woods reports that the chairman says the club have not been contacted again by Barcelona regarding Cesc following their £27m offer last week. But then over at the Daily Express, Matt Law believes Barca will make the £34m bid today. Who to believe?

All report that Cesc has canceled a public appearance at football campus in Tordera today so that he won't face difficult questions from the Spanish media about his future. The Mirror say Real Madrid have come in with a £45m bid, but you would have thought they would have acted before now if they really wanted the player.

I know we shouldn't be surprised with these stories doing the rounds but to lose both Fabregas and Nasri in their prime would be terrible. It would send out completely the wrong message. We need to be holding on to at least one of the two and I know we should care more about the players who want to play for the club than those who don't, but if both of them left our chances of winning something next season are set back again.

We are in a very tough position. The manager has said he doesn't want to lose Nasri on a free transfer but he's also said he doesn't want to sell the player to Manchester United either. But if they came in with a £20m bid for a player in the final season of his contract, I'm sure Ivan Gazidis would be saying to Arsene the club would have to consider it.

As for Fabregas, we don't have to sell him. He's got a contract with the club until 2015 but there does appear from the outside to be movement behind the scenes. I'd be very disappointed if he left, especially if the transfer fee is as low as Barcelona are trying to make it. However on the other hand, if Barca do meet our valuation of the player, I think we'd sell. Our stance has certainly changed from last season when no amount of money would have taken him back to Catalunya.

We're really reaching a cross roads in Arsene Wenger's project. We're finding it hard to keep hold of our best players and difficult to make room in the squad by moving on the players we have deemed to be surplus to requirements.

Looking on the brighter side of our transfer business, the Daily Mirror report that Gervinho is expected to fly in to London to begin talks on his transfer to north London. The Daily Star say Alex Chamberlain could be on his way as well. Whilst the Gary Cahill rumours appear to be getting stronger, with the reporting that Henri Lansbury could be offered in a player plus cash deal. Ignasi Miquel is also mentioned - he might be sent to the north west as well on a season long loan.

Gunnerblog reports Arsenal have turned down a £10m bid for Abou Diaby.

The Sun report we're in for Inter Milan goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, but only once we've offloaded Manuel Almunia. The Daily Mirror say our goalkeeping target is Sunderland's Craig Gordon who has one season left on his contract.

Extra reading today comes in the form of an excellent post by Arse2Mouse on why the Arsenal board shouldn't sell Cesc Fabregas on the cheap.

And finally, it's congratulations to Dennis Bergkamp who has been named assistant manager of Ajax.

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